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Jayce Randall Pleads Guilty In Crash That Killed Nephew

The Gig Harbor man pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment. The March crash killed his 9-year-old nephew, Donovan Best.

Jayce Randall of Gig Harbor, 26, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment in Pierce County Superior Court. His rollover crash (shown here) killed his 9-year-old nephew, Donovan Best. Patch file photo
Jayce Randall of Gig Harbor, 26, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment in Pierce County Superior Court. His rollover crash (shown here) killed his 9-year-old nephew, Donovan Best. Patch file photo
TACOMA-A Gig Harbor man who was driving intoxicated when he flipped over his vehicle in March - killing his 9-year-old nephew - pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment today.

The sentencing for Jayce Lee Damon Randall, 26, is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Pierce County Superior Court. 

"Drugs, drinking, and driving lead to terrible tragedies like this," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "This family suffered a senseless and avoidable loss.” 

On March 16, at about 1 a.m., the defendant left a family barbeque with his Donovan Best, 9, and his 8-year-old niece, T.K.  Driving westbound on State Road 16, the defendant sped up as he exited onto Purdy Drive Northwest. His niece began crying, and asked her uncle to slow down. He lost control of his vehicle around the curve, crossed into the other lane of traffic, and then spun off the road. The vehicle struck a ditch, became airborne, and rolled at least once.

The defendant and his nephew were ejected from the vehicle. Both were only wearing the shoulder strap of their seatbelts.  Donovan died from his injuries the next day.  T.K., wearing a seatbelt, survived uninjured.

The defendant, who suffered only minor injuries, admitted to smoking marijuana about an hour prior to the crash and drinking “too much.”

The penalties for vehicular homicide were more than doubled in the 2012 legislative session after calls for stiffer sentences from Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and others.  The current sentencing range for Vehicular Homicide is 78-102 months, increased from the former range of 31-41 months.  

Beth Brewer September 10, 2013 at 05:07 PM
What happened to the irresponsible mother that allowed her children to get into the car with a person that had been taking drugs? She should be held just as responsible as the driver! When is our focus going to change from a desire to help someone who's doing drugs to one where we terminate parental rights and allow these precious children to grow up in homes where they are loved and cared for?
Rebecca September 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Yes, by all means blame the mother Beth Brewer. How do you know she was even present at this barbecue? If she was there, she may not have even known that the uncle was smoking or drinking. The boy's mother is most likely experiencing unimaginable grief and loss. Way to pile on.
Beth Brewer September 11, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Actually, in the original report on the accident, the brother and "mother" were at the same BBQ and she admitted that she was aware that her brother had smoked some pot. Also in the report, the mother gave her brother permission to take the kids in the car. Please read all related information to see the horrific situation that these children were living with.
Dayday girl November 21, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Actually 'Beth Brewer' If I Were You I'd Shut Up With That Bullshit . How Dare You Comment On Something With That Negitive B.S. . Our Family Is Greiving . And You Decide To Come Up In Here And Open Your Mouth Coming At Us With That "irresponsible mother" Shit. Come On . I Hope Your Kids Die . Now Get The Fuck Outta My News Feed . And Thanks For Understanding Rebecca .

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