A 9-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was ejected from a car in a rollover accident on SR 16 early Saturday morning. His uncle, 26-year-old Gig Harbor resident Jayce L. Randall, was driving and admitted to Washington State Patrol officers that he had been “drinking way too much,” said WSP spokesman Guy Gill.
KING 5 News has identified the boy as 9-year-old Donovan Best. The station reported that his family has been told he may not survive.
The crash occurred about 1:30 a.m. on westbound SR 16. Randall was exiting the freeway toward Purdy Drive when he lost control of his 1990 Integra and left the roadway to the right.
His 9-year-old niece was in the backseat but was uninjured in the crash because she buckled her seatbelt, said Gill. Randall and 9-year-old Best in the front were not wearing restraints at the time of the crash.
The girl told investigators she and her brother were screaming at their uncle to slow down just before the accident. The man had permission from their mother to drive with the kids but their destination is unknown, said Gill.
“I honestly have no words to describe how careless and heartbreaking this is,” said Gill.
Randall was found to be impaired—over double the legal limit—and admitted to smoking marijuana before driving. A large amount of marijuana was also recovered from the vehicle.
The man will face charges of vehicular assault and DUI in Pierce County but charges could be upgraded to vehicular homicide if the boy does not survive.