Four people were hurt and a little boy died following a head-on collision near 36th St. and Southern in Phoenix Monday morning.
Authorities say an 18-year-old driver lost control of his Mitsubishi Galant, struck a curb and slammed head-on into a car carrying a mother and her three young children, ages 5, 3, and 1.
They all suffered injuries, and one child, the 3-year-old boy, later died as a result of his injuries. The other two children received life-threatening injuries, and the 5-year-old girl is still clinging to life, according to Phoenix Police. All of the children were properly restrained in the back seat.
The mother was also hurt, although less seriously.
The 18-year-old driver of the Galant was not belted in and was ejected from the vehicle. The suspect, identified as Jorge Bermudez Tapia, was released from the hospital Wednesday and booked into jail.
Police say Tapia may have been impaired. He allegedly displayed signs of alcohol and drug impairment.
Statement from the family of the 3-year-old, Elijah Diyari Ricks
"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."
Account to benefit the family: Bank of America in the name of Smith Ricks, #457025317525