TURLOCK, Calif. -- A newborn miraculously survived being thrown from a crash Sunday night, Dec. 8 in Northern California.
The California Highway Patrol says 6-week-old Ezra Benitez's family was driving their SUV south on Highway 99 in Turlock and crashed near the Main Street exit, flipping several times before coming to a stop.
Ezra was found upside down in his car seat down the shoulder. He only had minor injuries.
Investigators say Ezra's car seat was not properly installed and was flung out a broken window.
"I’ve been on for 17 years. I’ve never seen anything like this before," CHP Officer Thomas Olsen said.
Ezra's father, Ulizes Benitez, said he crawled out of the SUV and began frantically searching for his son. Firefighters arrived soon afterward and found Ezra mostly unharmed.
" ... And there he was on top of a bush the car seat not one bit of dirt on it like he landed perfectly and clean no scratches," Ulizes wrote to KTXL.
Ezra's mother was still in the hospital with rib, tailbone, and pelvis fractures Wednesday. His father and toddler-aged brother were unharmed.
"We can sit here today with a smile on our face . . . but this is a good learning moment for all of us who have children that the proper installation of a car seat is so important," Olsen said.
"I’m so thankful to God and all the first responders that got there to help me and my family and the team at UC Davis that help treat my baby boys I’m thankful for everyone that god put in our path to help us. If there is something I have to say about this year is that I am beyond blessed and thankful."