Los Angeles, CA – A 72-year-old woman was recently sentenced to prison for a DUI accident that killed a MMA fighter’s young son.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Donna Marie Higgins, age 72, plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter that ended up killing the toddler son of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal. Higgins was sentenced to six years in jail for crashing into the stroller of Liam Kowel, only 15-months old.
Police report that Higgins smashed her car into the young boy’s stroller that was being pushed by his aunt near 133rd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard. When authorities arrived at the scene, the toddler’s aunt was injured and Liam did not have a pulse.
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The day after the DUI accident, the Kowal family made the difficult decision to take the boy off of life support. After they did, his father posted on Facebook that “about an hour ago, our baby was declared brain dead.”
Initially, Higgins was booked on suspicion of drunk driving and felony hit-and-run charges, but after Liam died, Los Angeles prosecutors instead decided to move forward with vehicular manslaughter charges.
According to the Los Angeles DUI attorney for Higgins, Richard A. Hutton, she was driving to a local store in the area on the day of the fatal drunk driving accident. He further shares that she has expressed extreme remorse for what happened to the young boy and his family, and that she has taken full responsibilities for her choices.
Since the drunk driving crash, Kowal has begun getting involved in anti-drinking and driving campaigns. His latest endeavor includes pushing a petition that calls for legislators to toughen up on legal-limit laws that allow people to drive with a blood-alcohol content of less than .08 percent.
In a post before Higgin’s sentencing, Kowal wrote that while he was glad he would get to speak with her and that she would be behind bars soon enough, and that Higgins was a minor part of the larger battle ahead. He further shared that he wouldn’t stop “until there’s been significant change made in this country and around the world” regarding DUI laws.
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