HAWTHORNE, Calif. -- A well-known Southern California MMA fighter says he feels no hatred after his 15-month-old son was struck and fatally injured by a suspected drunk driver, CBS Los Angeles reports.
“I’ve always said, ‘If someone takes from me, I take back,’”told the station. “And I’m really surprised actually that I don’t feel any rage. I haven’t felt any rage. I don’t feel any hatred.”
Liam Mikael Kowal was being pushed in a stroller by his 15-year-old aunt when both were struck by an SUV Saturday afternoon. The pair was in a crosswalk at the intersection that had flashing yellow lights, but not a stop light.
“There’s footage showing that she pressed the button for the crossing,” said Kowal, “and this lady didn’t brake before she hit the stroller.”
Donna Marie Higgins, 72, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and felony drunk driving. Police say she had mixed alcohol and prescription medication. The lead investigator in the case said he expects charges against Higgins to be elevated to felony vehicular manslaughter.
Liam was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he clung to life support for three days. His father and mother decided to donate Liam’s organs.
“It looks like he’s sleeping when you look at him,” said Marcus Kowal. “But you have to accept that he’s not there. I loved him so much.”
Liam was taken into surgery for organ harvesting Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve been told that eight to nine children can potentially live because of Liam,” Marcus Kowal said.
The family has set up a fundraising page and is accepting donations for a memorial foundation.
Liam’s 15-year-old aunt is recovering from injuries.