Abdallah Khader was just 2 years old in 2009 when his family's car was hit by a drunk driver. Yesterday morning, at age 8, he succumbed to the injuries he sustained in that crash. Abdallah's parents tell WFAA he died at a Fort Worth, Texas, medical center; he had been in a near-vegetative state since the crash, strapped to a chair and on oxygen, and he frequently suffered from pneumonia, including at the time of his death. Meanwhile, Stewart Richardson—whose blood alcohol level was about three times the legal limit on the night of the crash in Arlington, Texas—remains in jail awaiting trial. His case is tied up because, WFAA reported last year, prosecutors want to use his prior DWI-related charges to get him a longer sentence—possibly life in prison rather than a maximum of 20 years.
Richardson, 50, has seven prior convictions for driving under the influence, some of them in other states, the Dallas Morning News reports. In this case, he's been charged with repeat DWI offense as well as intoxication assault, but after the medical examiner rules on Abdallah's cause of death, the district attorney could change those charges. But prosecutors say Abdallah's death will not change the punishment they're seeking for Richardson, WFAA reports. Parents Loubna and Fahad Khader say the experience has been torture; in February, Loubna confronted Richardson, who apologized to her. "I'm supposed to go home now and my son is going to be OK because you said you're sorry?" she said. "It's been five years today. Five years! My son is dying every single day." (In November, a drunk driver involved in a fatal crash got into another crash 11 years later.)