A 3-year-old boy has died as a result of injuries suffered in a head-on collision Monday morning that also injured several other people, Phoenix police said.
The boy, Elijah Ricks, died Wednesday afternoon. His 5-year-old sister is clinging to life, police investigators said.
Officers said they believed an 18-year-old man was impaired and caused the collision about 6:30 a.m. near 32nd Street and Southern Avenue.
A Phoenix Fire Department spokesman said some of the victims had to be extricated from the mangled wreckage.
Police said the 18-year-old driver was westbound on Southern swerving in and out of traffic. At one point his vehicle hopped the curb and hit some shrubs. He overcorrected and drove head-on into the eastbound lanes. He hit a blue sedan driven by a woman with three children.
A 1-year-old girl is in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
The 18-year-old driver was thrown from the vehicle and was hurt, said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump. The teen is expected to be OK.
Police said there was reason to believe the 18-year-old was alcohol and drug impaired, and could face associated charges. A warrant was obtained for a blood sample.
Police said evidence at the scene shows all three children inside the sedan were properly restrained.
The Ricks family issued this statement on Thursday:
"On behalf of the Smith and Ricks families, we would like to give our heartwarming thanks to witnesses, by-standers and the good Samaritans that assisted our loved ones this past Monday morning. To the first-responders that worked on our babies, there are not enough words to thank you for all that you did and continue to do. Maricopa Medical Center's doctor and nurse staff - you have our undying love and thanks.
"To our extended families and friends - we will never forget all the love, care and comfort you have shown us. Unfortunately our baby, Elijah Diyari Ricks, succumbed to his injuries Wednesday afternoon (May 1). However, his parents, Andres and Regina, made the unselfish decision to donate his organs so he may help others."
A bank account has been set-up with Bank of America to assist with medical expenses. The name of the account is the Smith Ricks account. The account number is: #457025317525.
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