The family was headed to a church located a block away from the scene of the accident. "They were coming for Bible study. We just heard the screaming and yelling and crying. We just ran," said Frances Vallejo at Primera Iglesia Bautista Church.
The group helped the victims inside, where they waited for authorities to arrive.
Miraculously, the toddler was alive. "He was able to respond. He was talking. That's the only thing we were grateful for," said Vallejo.
They're not grateful for the intersection where the accident happened. Robbin Joyce lives right next door. In the 13 years that Joyce has lived there, she says she's witnessed more than 30 accidents from her doorstep.
She says the intersection of Elm and Huron is so dangerous that she's even gone to the city for help. "It's a bad, bad spot. They need a four-way direction here," she says.
Vallejo agrees. "There's been a lot of accidents there. Some of the members of our church have had accidents at that intersection. They should do something to prevent that."
Otherwise, the next time could have a very different ending.
The driver of the car and at least two people in the van were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police would not say whether or not the toddler was properly restrained in the van.