MMA fighter and commentator Marcus Kowal announced Monday that it was his 15-month-old son who was struck and killed in a Hawthorne crosswalk accident by a suspected drunk driver who fled the scene. According to a news report in the Daily Breeze, Kowal’s son, Liam, and his wife, Mishel Eder’s 15-year-old sister, were struck the afternoon of September 3, 2016. The teen was pushing the baby in a stroller in a crosswalk at the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and 133rd Street.
DUI and Hit-and-Run Involved
Kowal’s son and Eder’s 15-year-old sister were struck at 4:15 p.m. Saturday by a sport utility vehicle as she pushed him in a stroller in a crosswalk on Hawthorne Boulevard at 133rd Street, police said. The driver later identified as 72-year-old Donna Marie Higgins, fled the scene.
Witnesses, however, followed her SUV and surrounded it a block away, boxing her in until police arrived. The child was transported to an area hospital where he was declared brain dead. Higgins was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI. She could face more serious charges including DUI causing death or possibly murder. Eder’s sister sustained leg injuries.
We offer our deepest condolences to Kowal and his family for this terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We also wish the injured teen the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Higgins, was not only under the influence at the time of the collision, but also struck two pedestrians who were walking in a marked crosswalk at the intersection and left the injured teenager and a baby lying on the roadway. Motorists are required under the law to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks. It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and leave the scene of an injury/fatal crash. We are relieved to note the driver was apprehended and charged and commend witnesses who took it upon themselves to follow the driver and hold her until authorities arrived.
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims can also file a wrongful death claim seeking damages. Injured victims and families of deceased victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.
(Image credit: Daily Breeze)