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March 16, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Boy, 9, critical after allegedly drunk uncle flips car

A 9-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was thrown from a car driven by his uncle, who was allegedly drunk and high on marijuana, The News Tribune of Tacoma is reporting.

“This is heartbreaking,” State Patrol trooper Guy Gill tells the newspaper. The driver’s alcohol level “was well over two times the legal limit.”

The crash happened about 1:30 this morning as the driver, a 26-year-old Gig Harbor man, was driving west on state Highway 16 at the Purdy Drive exit to state Highway 302 north of Gig Harbor. The man lost control and flipped a 1990 Acura Integra, throwing both him and his 9-year-old nephew from the car, The News Tribune reports.

A woman in the backseat who was wearing her seat belt and a 9-year-old girl were not injured.

The driver admitted to drinking “too much” and using marijuana before getting behind the wheel, according to the State Patrol. Marijuana was also found inside the car.

The woman in the backseat and the driver’s nephew were allegedly screaming at him to slow down, Gill said. The driver reportedly took the children from their home with their mother’s permission, he said.

The man was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault, a charge that could be upgraded to vehicular homicide if the boy dies.

Comments | More in The Blotter, Traffic & Transit | Topics: DUI, State Patrol, vehicular assault

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