News Releases

November 15, 2016: Hawthorne Woman Charged with Hit-and-Run DUI Crash That Killed Toddler, Injured Teen

Contact: 
Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 72-year-old woman has been charged with the DUI hit-and-run death of a 15-month-old boy in a stroller, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder said Donna Marie Higgins (dob 10/21/44) of Hawthorne faces one felony count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or more blood alcohol content causing injury and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person.

Higgins pleaded not guilty to the charges today and is due back on Jan. 12 in Department W30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. Case SA094376 was filed on Nov. 10.

On Sept. 3, a 15-year-old girl was crossing a sidewalk at 133rd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard while pushing a stroller with victim Liam Kowal inside when the defendant allegedly ran both of them down and kept driving, the prosecutor said. Higgins was stopped down the road by several people at the scene, the prosecutor added.

Higgins faces a possible maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison if convicted as charged.

The case remains under investigation by the Hawthorne Police Department.