On Saturday, Sept. 3, a 72-year-old woman allegedly struck the 15-month-old son of mixed martial arts fighter Marcus Kowal and the boy's teenage aunt as she was crossing a Southern California street, pushing the child, Liam, in a stroller. The driver was arrested on drunk driving and felony hit-and-run charges after the accident, which occurred in the city of Hawthorne. The woman was released the following day after she posted bail.
Both the baby and his 15-year-old aunt were taken to the hospital. The teen suffered leg injuries. However, the young boy reportedly had no pulse and wasn't breathing when first responders arrived at the scene. He was still in his stroller when they reached him.
Boy Removed from Life Support the Following Day
Marcus Kowal, who was born in Sweden, owns Systems Training Centers, which teaches MMA in several areas of Southern California, including Hawthorne. On a post to his Facebook page, which has been widely viewed, he said that his son at one point was able to be resuscitated. However, that wasn't enough to ultimately save him. Koval wrote, "His heart is still beating but his brain is no longer working."
The boy's parents made the decision to remove him from life support the following day, and he was declared dead. They donated his kidneys to another patient and his lungs to medical researchers.
Charge Upgraded to Vehicular Manslaughter
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office authorized Hawthorne Police to upgrade the charges and again arrest the driver of the vehicle on a charge of vehicular manslaughter. She turned herself into police on Sept. 7. She then posted $100,000 bond and was released from custody.
Obviously, drunk driving cases, particularly when they involve children, serious injuries and/or fatalities, can engender a great many strong feelings about the defendant. How that defendant behaves and the level of remorse displayed in court before the jury, judge and family members can play a significant role in the legal consequences that he or she faces.
It's essential if you are charged with a drunk driving offense, particularly when there are serious felony charges involved, to seek experienced legal guidance to navigate you through the judicial system and protect your legal rights.
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