9-Year-Old Boy Killed in Crash, Uncle Facing Homicide Charges for Intoxicated Driving
Date: March 16, 2013
Location: Tacoma, SR 16
Name: Donovan Best
Donovan Best was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his uncle, along with his younger sister. As they were traveling on SR 16, the uncle lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over. Both the young boy and his uncle were thrown from the vehicle. The young girl was not ejected from the vehicle or injured. She was able to crawl out and flag down help from a passing motorist.
Best was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital to be treated for his injuries. Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was placed on life support. Family and friends gathered at the hospital through the day to say goodbye to him. He was taken off life support on Sunday and he passed away in the evening.
Best’s uncle is facing vehicular homicide charges as a result of the crash. Police report that he had twice the legal alcohol limit in his blood stream and that he was reported to have been smoking marijuana prior to the accident. He suffered a broken pelvis and was transported to Tacoma General Hospital. He is reported to be on suicide watch there.
We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Donovan Best. It is truly tragic to lose someone so young and our thoughts are with you as you grieve for your loss.
Oregon wrongful death claims are allowed under ORS 30.010-30.100. But the law is much more complicated than a normal accident case. First of all, the statute of limitations (time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is 2 years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .” In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death.
Additionally, there are limits on who can bring a wrongful death claim. The most common claimants are:
- Children (including stepchildren)
- Parents (including stepparents)
Less common claimants include:
In a wrongful death case, you can ask for compensation for several types of damages as well.
Compensatory damages include.
- Charges for medical services;
- Charges for burial and memorial services;
- Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain, suffering and loss of income during the period between injury and death;
- Compensation for “pecuniary loss” to the decedent’s estate;
- Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s “society, companionship and services” to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents;
Punitive damages are allowed as well, but are rare in Oregon since the State takes 70% of punitive damages awarded. If you have lost a loved one, call a Portland wrongful death attorney for help in securing the compensation you deserve.