Bond denied for man charged in fatal DUI crash that killed 3-year-old

Josiah Caden Jenkins
Josiah Caden Jenkins
Lonnie Gross III (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
Lonnie Gross III (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Bond was denied Tuesday night for the man accused of driving drunk, crashing into a car, and killing the 3-year-old grandnephew of Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Josiah Caden Jenkins and his mother, Latoya Jenkins, were struck by a vehicle driven by Lonnie Gross III around 10:00 p.m. on North Springs Road. Troopers said Gross went left of center.

Coroner Gary Watts said Josiah died Tuesday at 8:17 a.m. The boy had been on life support since the crash.

A Highway Patrol spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon charged against Gross will be upgraded to felony DUI involving death.

Latoya, who was not seriously injured, is Aubrey Jenkins' niece.

Jenkins said Josiah received an award at school and Latoya was going out to pick up pizza to celebrate when the crash happened.

On Tuesday afternoon Chief Jenkins released a statement on Josiah's passing:

"It is with deep sadness that I report the passing of my grandnephew Josiah Jenkins.  Josiah passed away this morning with family and God at his side." 

"I would like to thank everyone that has offered their support and prayers for Josiah and our family during the last four days and ask that you keep our family in your prayers today and in the days to come as we grieve the loss of such a wonderful boy who was taken from this world at such a young age."

"The family would also like to thank members of the Columbia Fire Department, Richland County EMS and South Carolina Highway Patrol for their professionalism, as well as the doctors and staff at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital for their exceptional care during this difficult time."

After the collision, Gross was transported to a hospital to be checked out and then taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and charged, troopers said.

An arrest record requested of SLED shows Gross has been out on bond for a DUI arrest in November 2013.  He was convicted of DUI for arrests in 2007, 2000, 1999 and 1993 and was charged, but not convicted of DUI in 1997.

Gross faces 25 years in prison if convicted.

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