Authorities say a Montgomery boy identified as 6-year-old Aiden Howard has died 10 days after being fatally injured when a vehicle slammed into an apartment building. According to his aunt, Phadra Stewart, he was removed from life support on Sunday after being declared 99 percent brain dead.
According to police, the child was injured Feb. 12 when a sport-utility vehicle driven by Juan Daniels, 28, rammed through the side of an apartment unit after being involved in an altercation with a resident of the complex. Police say Daniels was fighting with a man and drove the vehicle into the apartment intentionally, with the intent of running over him.
Daniels then fled on foot and has remained on the run, police report.
Aiden’s first grade teacher, Rosemary Zenor, said his class had made Valentine’s day cards for the boy, and that Howard was the only kid in class to order a $2 candy gram for his mother.
“He got along with everyone,” Zenor told the Montgomery Advertiser. “He’s one of those students who have to hug you when they come in and hug you when he leaves. He could be shy and outgoing at the same time. Sometimes you’d catch him and he had this little shy smile.”
His mother, Marquitta Arrington, set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for the little boy’s medical bills. The family is now raising money to help pay for his funeral.
“He brought so many smiles and joy to so many he came in contact with,” a statement on his GoFundMe page reads. “Words cannot describe the emptiness that Aiden’s passing has left for his family. Tragedies like this are seldom planned for and although we have reached our initial goal, we are continuing to attempt to raise money to help offset the cost of funeral arrangements.”
In 2007, Daniels was the subject of a brief manhunt after beating and setting his mother’s pit bull on fire, eventually being apprehended by the U.S. Marshal service. Daniels admitted to authorities that he had set the dog on fire because he couldn’t borrow the family car.
The dog had been tethered to a tree and, unable to escape the flames, ripped his own skin off, WSFA reported. Despite severe burns, the pit bull miraculously survived the incident. Daniels was found guilty of the crime and was sentenced to nine years in prison, for which he served only four years upon released in November 2013.