5-year-old still in coma after crash killed younger brother - New York News

5-year-old still in coma after crash that killed younger brother

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PHOENIX -

A horrible accident claimed the life of a 3-year-old valley boy. His family spoke out about the crash on Sunday.

A routine Monday morning turned into a day little Elijah's family will never forget. Their focus now, is on the recovery of his 5-year-old sister.

"I had just gotten through playing with them that morning and locked the door. No sooner than 15 minutes after I locked the door, I got a call from my mother saying my nieces and nephew and my sister had been in an accident," said Edward Smith, Elijah's uncle.

The accident Smith got a call about changed his life forever.

His twin sister was taking her three children to daycare on Monday.

She was driving her Pontiac G6 in the area of 38th Street and Southern when it was struck by a white Mitsubishi.

"I said, 'Uncle will see you later when you get back from daycare,' he said, 'Ok uncle, I'll see you later.' Same thing I said to my nieces," said Smith.

Elijah died as a result of his injuries.

His 5-year-old sister, Janiah, is still in a coma, fighting for her life.

1-year-old Nejemah and their mom are recovering, at least physically, according to their aunt, Penny Ricks.

"It's up and down, roller coaster...all families have been affected, even the one that is getting prosecuted," said Ricks.

Ricks, who is in from Nashville, says the family was initially told the 18-year-old driver of the Mitsubishi displayed signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol and drug impairment.

Court paperwork indicates Jorge Tapia has only been charged with two counts of endangerment and one count each of manslaughter and aggravated assault.

As they struggle for clear answers, they can only hope for brighter days.

"We are all sad. We are all in pain. It's agony. My nephew is gone, my niece is fighting for her life, its just a sad situation," said Smith.

FOX 10 spoke to the 18-year old driver's family off-camera and he told us briefly that they are praying for the victims. They also said that Tapia feels awful about what happened and told police he had a blown tire and lost control.

They also referred us to his attorney who did not return our call for comment.

Follow this story: 3-year-old dies after head-on crash with suspected drunk driver


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