updated 6/6/2006 9:48:15 PM ET 2006-06-07T01:48:15

A child who died in a car crash was misidentified as his younger brother, a mistake that his relatives discovered a week after the accident, state police said Monday.

Troopers confirmed that the boy who died in the May 29 crash was 7-year-old Christian Marshall and not his 4-year-old brother, Justin.

Justin, his other sibling, McKenna, 2, and his parents, Sheyna Marshall, 29, and James Marshall, 28, all of Washington, D.C., were seriously injured in the crash. One of the Marshall children was pronounced dead at the scene.

The misidentification occurred, police said, when James Marshall, the only parent able to talk with authorities after the crash, was told that the child killed in the crash had been sitting in the right rear of the car. Marshall said he was certain Justin had been sitting behind him.

The serious injuries sustained by all the family members and their being treated at different hospitals made further identification impossible, police said.

On Monday afternoon, state police were told that James and Sheyna Marshall noticed features on the severely injured surviving son that indicated he was Justin. Relatives traveled to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore late Monday afternoon and identified the dead child as Christian Marshall.

In a similar case last week in Michigan, the parents of a college student learned that a young woman who survived a crash was not their daughter but a classmate. The couple had sat by the injured girl's bedside for weeks.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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