James Edds: 9-year-old boy dies after serious brain injuries following crash involving drunk driver
NEW SOUTH WALES, KILLARNEY VALE: A nine-year-old boy, who suffered serious brain injuries after the car he was traveling in was struck by a drunk driver, died in the hospital on Saturday, January 7. James Lachlan Edds was heading out with his mother Anastasia, 42, to buy new soccer boots with his Christmas money, when his Toyota sedan was hit by a Lexus SUV in Killarney Vale on the NSW Central Coast on Wednesday afternoon, January 4.
The SUV was reportedly driven by Kristie Fiona Anne Merrett, 51, who allegedly failed to stop at a give way sign. Officers breath-tested Merrett who blew 0.197 which is four times over the legal alcohol limit of 0.05. Following the crash, the emergency services took an hour to free the young boy who was trapped inside the vehicle. He was then flown to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital in critical condition. His mother was also taken to the hospital after sustaining minor injuries.
His aunt, Nicole Micos, confirmed the young boy's death on social media on Sunday, January 8. "If you were lucky to have met James you would know how much of an incredible little legend he was," Micos wrote in a Facebook post. "James loved kicking a ball around with mum, jumping on the trampoline with his mates...playing Monopoly and Uno with dad and so much more." She specially thanked "every single medical professional at John Hunter Hospital who worked tirelessly to support James across this week." Micos added that her nephew "fought so hard, and it’s a testament to how strong and resilient little James was."
Merrett, a Bellingen resident is facing seven charges including driving with a high range PCA, aggravated driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, causing bodily harm by misconduct when in charge of a motor vehicle and possessing a prohibited drug, according to News.com.au.
Merrett was granted conditional bail in the Newcastle Local Court on Thursday, January 5, and will return to court on January 27. Her driving license was immediately suspended. Further inquiries are still ongoing.
A GoFundMe has been created to support Edds' family.