MMA fighter Marcus Kowal took to Facebook on Tuesday, September 6, to pen an emotional goodbye letter to his infant son, Liam Mikael, who was killed at 15 months old in a suspected DUI car crash this past weekend.
“Good night bebisen [baby], you'll always be with us,” the Swedish-born athlete wrote on Facebook, accompanied by a heartrending photo of him holding his son’s scratched hand. “Pappa älskar dig [Papa loves you].”
As previously reported, the toddler and his 15-year-old aunt were struck in the middle of a Hawthorne, California, crosswalk at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 3. That same day, the Hawthorne Police Department issued a press release stating that Liam’s teenage aunt suffered “from what appeared to be leg injuries,” while he was found “pulseless and not breathing.”
According to Mercury News, the driver, Donna Marie Higgins, fled the scene, but witnesses followed her SUV until authorities arrived. Higgins, 72, was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and drunken driving and booked into Hawthorne jail on $100,000 bail.
“I saw [Liam’s] stroller in two pieces,” Kowal recounted to ABC7 hours after the incident. “And he had a little green frog that he’s had with him since day one … and he carries around wherever he is. He won’t sleep without his green frog, and it was lying in the middle of the street.”
He added: “I’m a fighter, I can take pain, I’ve taken pain my whole life and nothing hurts as much as this. I was proud to be a dad, and I wanted to raise a good child.”
On Sunday evening, Kowal updated his Facebook followers about his son’s worsening condition. "About an hour ago, our baby was declared brain dead. He tried to fight so hard. He even died at one point but they brought him back. He's a little fighter. His heart is still beating but his brain is no longer working," the distressed father — who welcomed Liam with partner Mishel Eder in 2015 — wrote. “Our hearts are broken and there's a void in my soul but we will get through this.”
Liam was taken off life support later that night. After several days of reflection, the mixed martial artist uploaded an emotional video to Instagram on Wednesday, September 7. In the clip, he pleads with fans never to drink before getting behind the wheel.
“I’m not a paid actor. This is not a commercial. This is reality,” he said. “All I can say is don’t drink and drive. Don’t let a friend drink and drive. Please.”
Kowal and Eder have donated Liam’s organs. A GoFundMe account was set up to help the family with medical expenses and funeral costs.
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