Family ‘devastated’ after alleged DUI crash kills 9-year-old

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TACOMA — A 9-year-old boy died at a Tacoma hospital following a devastating crash early Saturday morning that police said could have been prevented.

The boy died shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night. Family members said the boy he was taken off life support after it was shown his brain activity had stopped.

Donovan Best was critically injured around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when a car driven by his uncle left the roadway and flipped over westbound on State Route 16 near Purdy. Washington State Patrol officers said the boy’s uncle, 26-year-old Jayce Randall, had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol and also had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.

carPolice reports show the boy and his 8-year-old sister repeatedly cried out for Randall to slow down.

Now, the family of both the boy and the uncle are left to grieve at the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. Karrie Lewandowski, the child’s great-aunt, said two lives — if not more — will be totally ruined by a crash that’s shaking the family to its core.

“Our nephew who was driving and our little nephew is on life support, so we feel like we’re losing two members of the family because of a bad decision,” Lewandowski said.

Dale Lewandowski, the victim’s great-uncle, agreed.

“We’re a very close family,” he said. “We’re all devastated. It’s not something that anybody should have to go through.”

Donovan and his sister, who was uninjured, were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Police said the little girl managed to escape the car and run to the highway to flag down help.

“She’s the hero in this accident,” Karrie Lewandowski said.

Randall suffered a broken pelvis and was on suicide watch following the incident, officials said. He is expected to be charged with a DUI and vehicular homicide.

guy1Donovan Best was a third grader at Lyon Elementary School in Tacoma.

Randall was at his sister’s home where she was having a barbecue Friday evening. Randall stayed up after the children had fallen asleep but then woke them up early Saturday morning to drive them to their grandparents, Lewandowski said.

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  • Tracy Baublits

    I'm sure it was the Pot, not the blood alcohol twice the limit! Just trying to put pot in a bad light regardless of the facts!

  • re:anonymous

    Who takes their child off life support? At least wait 3 days…maybe the brain needs swelling to go down before he can function. Idk. I would give it time. Poor child.

  • Eileen Brunetti

    Yes, the driver of this car is an idiot and should be put in jail for a long time BUT what about the parents of this poor little boy? They should be held responsible too. Some people should not have children.

    • Jeni

      How can you sit there and blame the parents when they had NOTHING to do with this crash?? It was the uncle that made those poor decisions, and because of HIS bad decisions this child whom my children go to school with lost his life. You can't sit here and blame the parents who didn't tell that man to get behind the wheel of his car and drive those two innocent babies that night. Keep your jacked up opinions to yourself

      • James

        Think about what you're saying Jeni, the mother allowed those children to get into a vehicle being driven by someone who was under the influence. The mother should be charged with child endangerment for her lack of decision making skills. Had she not known he was drinking and smoking pot I would agree with your statement but that's just not the case.

  • guest

    legalized pot and booze on every store shelf!! you asked for it voters, you got it! this is just the beginning so get used to it.

    • Jeni

      So, you think that by putting alcohol in stores caused this? Wake up, people were still drinking and driving when the alcohol was kept in liquor stores, people were STILL smoking pot and driving BEFORE it was legalized and many people have lost their lives, whether it was in the stores or not.

      • James

        You are absolutely right about that Jeni that has no bearing whatsoever in this case he was of legal drinking and smoking age.

        • wanda

          There should be no legal drinking age as there should be no drinking! If there were a disease that began killing as many people as drunk driving kills the FDA would be all over it to illuminate the disease. Oh wait!! Alcoholisim IS a disease…yet they do NOTHING to iilluminate the cause. Could it be because the state and government have much to gain off the selling of alcohol and don't give a CRAP about our children and loved ones being killed?? Same goes for pot now!

  • nicole

    When are we going to wake up and realize when we drink or do any drug we are harming not only our own bodies but other people….
    This is so sad poor little guy

  • Block Watcher

    Alcohol is very dangerous because it can sneak-up on you long after your last drink. A person can seem fairly normal at one point in time, but within a few minutes of leaving a party or tavern, one can reach a blackout stage as more alcohol works through your system.

  • Raeleen Dodge

    Pray for all of his family and him. God needed him more and for something grand. He is are angle now. Keep them in your hearts.

  • Raeleen Dodge

    Pray for all of his family and him. God needed him more and for something grand. He is are angle now. Keep them in our hearts they need us more now.

  • steven

    hes something nobody is talking about. the mothers boyfriend was drunk, causing problems. . the kids were sent in that car because of him. he has a history of hitting the kids.

    • Donovans Cousin


  • OC DUI Lawyer

    Terrible news. I read an article earlier about this accident, that had the boy listed in critical care. I'm saddened to learn he was taken off life support. No lawyer on the face of the planet could stop this man from going to jail for less then a decade.
    Though, I doubt jail time is the least of this man's worries. His thoughts and dreams must be nothing but nightmares. I hope he doesn't take his own life (not that there is any indication he is suicidal besides the one line mentioning a suicide watch), and when he is released in 15-30 years I hope he can make a positive impact on the world.

  • Sick of morons

    Drink at home! Stay at home! Or DONT FUGGIN DRINK!!! simple as that. People are cold, cruel, and dont give a crap about anyone. This “I’m invincable/ it cant happen to me” bull$h¡+ has to stop. A$$holes think they are better or worth more than everyone else and this is the biggest problems of the human

    Im so sorry to the people who lose loved ones to nonsense like this. I have a sister and a cousin who drive drunk and get away with it. They get pulled over and ticketed a few times in different counties and they somehow weasle through the system without anything more than a fine. The cops and judges need to do more on their side. Like taking tips from citizens about drunks seriously. I tried to contact 3 judges and arresting officers to encourage probation and alcohol treatment or jail but I was ignored. Now my sister and cousin pay there $80, $800, and $1000 fees and they are good to go back to a bar tonight. No follow-up, test, probation, treatment, jail, not even a DL suspension. They are going to kill someone and we cant do anything about it. i cant call it in bc I never know until after the fact. Hands tied bc the court and cops wont listen.

  • crzynut81

    This is sad news, but why would the mother of the children let them get in a car with someone who was obviously that drunk. We need to wake up and see that we can't let our children ride with anyone that has even had one beer, or joint. I feel for the family having to go thru this they lost a son, brother, nephew at the hands of a son, brother, uncle and nephew…. so very very sad.