A family is grieving after their 11-month-old infant was killed when a driver lost control of his vehicle, hopped a curb and hit the child and his parents as they were walking on the sidewalk Sunday in Orange County.
The incident occurred around 4:15 p.m. near Antonio Parkway and Oak Tree Lane in the small community of Las Flores.
Authorities said a 54-year-old San Clemente man, now identified as Daniel Patrick Lenihan, was traveling north on Antonio Parkway in a 2017 Hyundai Sonata when he left the roadway for an unknown reason and hit the family as they were walking with their child in a stroller.
Residents of nearby Rancho Santa Margarita, the victims have been identified as 34-year-old Kyle Ohlwiler, 31-year-old Hayley Ohlwiler and 11-month-old Madden Ohlwiler.
All three were rushed to a hospital in Mission Viejo with serious injuries. Tragically, the infant succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“Forever heartache in their lives,” family friend, Laura Dunn, told KTLA. “They were doing absolutely nothing wrong except for spending a beautiful Sunday together.”
The accident and the tragic loss of baby Madden, who would have turned 1 year old this Friday, has hit the close-knit Ohlwiler family and the Las Flores Community hard.
Darron Ohlwiler, Kyle’s brother and Madden’s Uncle spoke to KTLA on Monday. He said that while Kyle suffered a bad concussion in the crash and Hayley is being treated for broken bones, the majority of the trauma comes the loss of couple’s only child.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you, but it does and the outpouring of love and support from the community is beyond what we could comprehend or even fathom,” he said.
Both Kyle and Hayley remain hospitalized. Relatives of the family have started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of medical expenses.
Lenihan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was booked into Orange County Central Men’s Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail. He is due to appear in court on Tuesday.