HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — A well-known Southern California MMA fighter says he feels no hatred, after his 15 month old son was struck and critically injured by a suspected drunk driver.

“I’ve always said ‘someone takes from me, I take back,'” Marcus Kowal told CBS2 News. “But I don’t feel any rage or 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 of Hawthorne Boulevard and 133rd Street, which had flashing yellow lights, but was not a stop light.

“There’s footage showing she pressed the button for the crosswalk,” said Kowal, “but 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 says he expects charges against Higgins to be elevated to felony vehicular manslaughter.

Suspect (credit: Hawthorne PD)

Suspect (credit: Hawthorne PD)

Liam Kowal 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,” said Marcus Kowal. “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 8-9 kids will be saved because of Liam,” Marcus Kowal said.

The family has set up a fundraising page and is accepting donations for a memorial foundation.

Liam Kowal’s 15 year old aunt is recovering from injuries.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (43)
  1. Charles Volcher says:

    A 72 year women did this!?!?!? God lock her up for the rest of her life and melt the key

  2. Kat says:

    Damn drunk driver 😡

  3. Dak says:

    lock her up ! she knew she did something that s why she fled the scene ! drunk coward !

  4. Angel Jonas says:

    Father of the child wrote this message on his fb page “Please, I beg of you: for you that have my cell phone number, do not give it out to hopeful strangers that have children in need of organs. Please. We are dealing with enough right now – I cannot take on other people’s pain. I’ve received 100s of messages from hopeful parents and I can’t even continue to write “I’m so sorry, his organs have already been donated.” Let alone, tell a crying mother over the phone. I wish I could do more but I can’t. My baby’s organs have been donated and I beg of you, please, please do not give out my number. Let us mourn in peace.”

  5. This just breaks my heart because I couldn’t imagine being able to handle ever losing my son and he a toddler too, especially because of a stupid drunk driver! This makes me so angry that people are very selfish and stupid to get behind the wheel after drinking and taking medication knowing that they are putting other people’s lives at risk. Although, I know there are some lives being saved from this precious baby’s organs, its still heart breaking to hear and feel the pain of the parents that lost their child. May God carry them through this and soothe their pain and comfort everyday and night.

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