MMA Fighter's 15 Month Old Son Killed By Drunk Driver
The toddler son of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal was declared brain dead Sunday after a 72-year-old woman suspected of drunk driving mowed down his stroller in a California crosswalk.
Kowal announced the death of his 15-month-old son Liam in a heartbreaking Facebook post.
"About an hour ago, our baby was declared brain dead. He tried to fight so hard. He even died at one point but they brought him back. He's a little fighter. His heart is still beating but his brain is no longer working," Kowal wrote.
The owner of a chain of mixed martial arts training studios in southern California posted a follow-up message Monday saying the family planned to donate little Liam's heart.
"This isn't easy to write but Liam is going to donate his organs, so that his little heart can make another child live and another set of parents not have to go through what we have to," Kowal wrote.
Donna Marie Higgins, 72, was arrested by the Hathworne Police Department for alleged DUI and hit-and-run in a crash that killed the 15-month-old son, Liam, of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal. (HAWTHORNE POLICE DEPARTMENT)
He asked his followers to reach out if they knew a child in need because the hospital said his family could pick a recipient somehow connected to them.
"It hurts to write this but Liam loved to share and the person we were going to raise him to be would love to help someone else," he said.
Liam died at Harbor UCLA Medical Center after he and a 15-year-old aunt who was pushing his stroller were struck in a crosswalk in Hawthorne, Calif., on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The two victims were inside the crosswalk boundaries when driver Donna Marie Higgins, 72, plowed into them with her SUV and then fled the scene followed by witnesses, Hawthorne Police said.
The witnesses trailed Higgins for about a block and were able to trap her with their own cars until help arrived, cops said.
Higgins was given a field sobriety test and arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run and felony drunk driving, police said.
Meanwhile, first responders found the teenager suffering from leg injuries and little Liam still strapped in his stroller. He was not breathing and had no pulse, police said.
Officers gave the baby CPR and rushed him to the hospital with internal injuries, cops said.
The Hawthorne Police Department said in a statement that it planned to pursue additional charges against Higgins after she posted bail and was released from custody.
One of Kowal's business associates and friends set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. It identified the injured teen as a sister of Liam's mom Mishel Eder.
"As anyone can imagine, they are completely shocked, heartbroken, and have a long road ahead of them," the friend wrote of Kowal and Eder. "No parent should EVER have to bury their child."