A California mother was on life support on Wednesday after she was hit by a car as she tried to push her toddler son out of harm's way, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

San Diego police Sgt. Bob Dare said the brakes apparently failed on the car as its 22-year-old driver pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old mother saw the car coming and tried to save her 2-year-old son, who also was struck by the car, while the mother was thrown on to the hood.

She slid off the car as it plowed into several parked vehicles, broke through a fence and eventually came to rest after hitting a house.

Dare said the driver was not injured.

Paramedics took the toddler and his mother to separate hospitals.

The boy suffered scrapes and possible internal injuries, police said.

Click here to read more on this story from The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.