A man abducted his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son and fled in her car before crashing into a tree, killing both himself and the toddler early Thursday morning in Plantation, Florida, according to officials.
Plantation police said 25-year-old Ryan Yates grabbed the child, James Oizan-Chapon, and attempted to make off in his mother’s, Yasmin Cid’s, black 2014 Mercedes-Benz at around 3:30 a.m.
Yates lost control of the car and slammed into a tree, causing the car to catch fire, police said. Both Yates and Oizan-Chapon were pronounced dead at the scene.
“I heard two booming sounds right after the crash and a woman screaming for her baby, neighbor Frances Velaco told NBC Miami.
“She was like, ‘My baby! My baby!’ And I actually started crying when I heard that cause I felt really helpless and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
According to ABC affiliate WPLG of Miami, Yates and Cid got into an argument before taking off with Oizan-Chapon as Cid tried unsuccessfully to free the boy. Oizan-Chapon’s family has set up a GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses. A photo on the fundraising site shows the gap-toothed child smiling with his hands on his head.
“Our little boy, died tragically in a car accident. As you can imagine, no family ever prepares for a tragedy like this,” a statement on the page read.
Video footage of the crash showed the car engulfed in flames and wreckage could be seen strewn across the road. Tiffany Velasquez, the boy’s aunt, called Oizan-Chapon a fun, fearless little boy who “loved chicken nuggets,” according to NBC Miami.
“This is not something anybody prepares you for,” she said. “There isn’t words you can put together for something like this. It’s just so unfortunate and he did not deserve that. He deserved the opportunity to live a full beautiful life. It’s just very hard. Very hard.”