A private garbage truck and a 2010 Chevy Malibu sedan crashed around 10 a.m. in the Port Morris section of the Bronx.
Both were traveling north when the Chevy swerved in front of the truck to avoid a pothole, according to the New York City Police Department.
Police said the truck rear-ended the sedan pushing it into a metal pillar supporting the Bruckner Expressway in the 300 block of Bruckner Boulevard.
A 52-year-old woman was driving the sedan, and a 52-year-old man was in the front passenger seat. A 27-year-old woman was in the rear seat.
Police said the child was properly fastened into the rear seat of the vehicle.
All four victims were taken to Lincoln Hospital where the toddler was pronounced dead. The adults are all stable.
The identifications of the victims are pending notification of family.
The truck driver remained on the scene.
The carting truck is owned by Avid Waste Systems, of Hunts Point in the Bronx.
Only one lane was passable at the scene.