The boy, identified as Malike Hines, was a passenger in the car, which crashed near the intersection of Prairie and Grace avenues at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Inglewood police.
Authorities say the car was traveling northbound on Prairie Avenue toward Florence Avenue when it lost control, drove onto oncoming traffic and then slammed into a light pole.
The driver, identified as 20-year-old Kimdrick Estrada of Inglewood, used to be the boyfriend of Hines' mother.
Police say Estrada was driving at speeds of up to 70 mph before losing control. The car wrapped around the light pole and came to rest on the grass portion of a sidewalk just outside of St. Mary's Academy and across the street from the Center of Hope Church.
Police say Hines was in an unrestrained car seat behind Estrada at the time of the crash. Upon impact, authorities say the boy was partially ejected from the vehicle, and a passing Good Samaritan helped pull him out of the car. Hines was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Estrada was also taken to a hospital to be treated for unspecified injuries. He was detained by police after treatment. Estrada faces various charges including vehicular manslaughter, child endangerment, driving without a license with more charges pending. Authorities say they will wait on results of a blood test to see if Estrada was under the influence at the time of the crash.
In the meantime, Hines' family is reflecting on their memories.
"We're going to miss him, I know that. He was just a baby and he got sent to grown up stuff. It's crazy. But we don't know what happened, because we weren't here to see, so you never know," said Yvette Stovall, a family friend.
Authorities believe speed was a factor in the crash. Sgt. Ed Ridens with Inglewood police said witnesses told authorities that there may have been more than one car involved in what appeared to be a street race.
If you have any information that can help investigators, you're urged to contact Inglewood police at (310) 412-5211.