Tragedy struck in Hawthorne Saturday for the family of a teenager and an infant child. An alleged DUI driver is now facing charges of vehicular manslaughter.
72-year-old Donna Marie Higgins was behind the wheel of a vehicle that fled the scene after hitting a 15-year old and an infant in a stroller. The accident happened on Saturday at the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and 133rd Street.
Responding officers found the 15-year-old girl and the infant lying near the crosswalk. The baby had no pulse and was not breathing when witnesses found him. The teenager was the aunt of the baby, who was the son of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal.
Kowal posted a statement on his Facebook page Sunday night announcing that his son had been declared brain dead. The family made the choice to donate the baby’s organs to other children and his lungs would be donated for research. The aunt was listed as being in stable condition.
The driver of the vehicle initially fled the scene, but witnesses blocked her SUV until police could arrive. She was arrested on charges of felony hit-and-run and felony drunk driving. She was able to bail out of jail.
After the infant’s death, the police made the decision to re-arrest Higgins on upgraded charges of vehicular manslaughter. She surrendered to police and was released on $100,000 bond. Her arraignment will occur on November 15th.
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