Taylor Mill police said a vehicle was broken down on the eastbound side of the road near the Licking River Wednesday evening. That vehicle was occupied by a mother and her young child, police said.
Around 6:30 p.m., while the woman was waiting for her husband to arrive for assistance, her vehicle was struck by another passing vehicle.
Police said the toddler died as a result of the crash.
Authorities said there were three people in the passing vehicle.
Some victims of the crash were taken to UC Medical Center and others to St. Elizabeth in Fort Thomas.
Police believe that traffic may have suddenly stopped and that the striking vehicle may have tried to take evasive action to the right, thereby striking the broken down vehicle from the rear.
The father of the child reportedly arrived at the scene after the crash but before authorities. He was presumably traveling to the scene to assist the mother and child since their vehicle was broken down.
"We are told around the same time or shortly before first responders arrived, the father and husband got here and found his family," said Taylor Mill Police Chief Steve Knauf.
Chief Knauf said that the particular stretch of I-275 is particularly dangerous.
"I've been here for 30 years and this stretch is one of the most dangerous stretches in our city and in Wilder, it's just the expressway. You come down this area, and you probably don't know this, but you're coming down a bit of a grade. Naturally, you pick up speed, but on this bridge where this auto accident occurred, there's not much of a berm, so, stay in your car, put your seatbelt on, and dial 911," said Chief Knauf.
Chief Knauf did say that there was a car seat inside the car, but they're not quite sure if the child was buckled in it at the time they were hit. He believes the mother may have been contemplating exiting the car at the time they were hit and the child may not have been in the car seat.
Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders described the scene as “horrific” and said emergency responders from many local agencies had been called to respond. Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney, Michelle Snodgrass, was also on the scene.
The investigation was ongoing at midnight, and no charges had been filed.
In the event there is impairment involved with the driver of the car that hit the broken down car, the case will be handled and Campbell County.