Street racer who killed 6-year-old boy in car crash after driving almost 110 m.p.h. under arrest: Police

Source: MEGA; Gaston County Sheriff's Office

Jul. 19 2021, Published 1:34 p.m. ET

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A North Carlina man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy in a street-racing crash is now charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities took Donnie Ray Cobb, 46, into custody and booked him into the Gaston County Jail on July 15 for allegedly killing Liam Lagunas and seriously injuring the child’s father, Santiago Laguna, WSOC-TV reported.

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On the evening of June 26, Cobb was allegedly racing another driver on U.S. 74 at speeds that reached nearly 110 m.p.h., troopers said.

At the same time, Laguna was driving his son to his home to play with siblings, family members told the station.

Cobb’s Audi collided with the second street racer and Cobb’s vehicle flew across a grass median and slammed head-on into the Lagunas’ automobile, according to a crash report obtained by The Charlotte Observer.

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Santiago was critically injured, and his son, Liam, who was secured in a car seat, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

child killed

In addition to murder, Cobb faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to seriously injure, reckless driving, DWI and speed competition. He is being held on a $1 million bond, online records show.

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A blood test allegedly showed he had an unnamed second substance that was not alcohol in his system, North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce said.

Cobb has a long history of speeding violations and other criminal offenses, including DWI, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Authorities expect to file charges against the second street racer involved in the deadly crash.

“One bad decision can cost more than just your life,” Trooper Pierce said. “It can hurt someone else.”

Liam Lagunas' mom created a GoFundMe page shortly after her son's passing. She wrote that Liam and his dad were killed after a trip to get ice cream.

"From the bottom of my heart, my son was my whole world. He was my whole heart," Brandi Birrittiers wrote. "My son always asked me what the best part of my day was.. I would tell him, he was!"


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