TACOMA, Wash. -- A 9-year-old boy injured in a DUI crash died late Sunday after his family removed him from life support.
Nearly every member of Donovan Best's family came to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital on Sunday, hoping the boy could recover from his injuries. But doctors said tests showed no brain activity, and the family made the decision to turn off the breathing machine.
The third-grader was thrown from a car early Saturday on Highway 16 in Purdy, and state troopers say the boy's uncle was drunk and high on drugs when he lost control of the car and crashed.
Jayce L. Randall remains under suicide watch in a hospital room and will be booked into jail for investigation of vehicular homicide when he is released.
"Our family is suffering the consequence of his bad decision that night," said Karrie Lewandowski, Donovan's great aunt.
Randall had spent Saturday evening at a family barbecue and offered to drive Donovan and his younger sister to their grandparents' house. The kids' mother agreed, so they piled into the car.
"Jayce is not a bad kid. He's your average 26 year old," said Donovan's great uncle, Dale Lewandowski. "He went to a barbecue, had a few too many drinks. He has never had a police record. He has never had a DUI."
The force of the crash also ejected Randall, who suffered a broken pelvis. His 8-year-old niece climbed out of the wrecked car and flagged down help.
Relatives say Randall is devastated.
"You have a family here that is suffering two-fold. Our nephew who is on suicide watch, to our little nephew Donovan," Karrie Lewandowski said.
Investigators say Randall's blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit and that he admitted to also smoking marijuana.
Troopers say Randall's niece told them she and her brother were yelling at their uncle to slow down before the crash.
The family says they don't believe Randall intended to put the children in danger.
"We'd like to send the message also that you cannot get behind the wheel of a car when you're drinking or smoking marijuana. You just can't," Dale Lewandowski said.