Newborn with Tri-Cities ties dies in hospital from crash that killed her mother

UPDATE on Oct. 17, 2022: Family members confirmed to KAPP-KVEW that baby Mary, who has been in a hospital since a tragic car accident that claimed her mother’s life, passed away.

The family’s GoFundMe campaign has been relaunched to pay for medical expenses, a funeral and associated charges.

LONGVIEW, Wash. — A deadly crash took the life of one woman when her car swerved and rolled off the road, landing upside down in a drainage slough in Longview. Inside the car were her brother and two children, who got out of the submerged car with help from people who stopped.

One of those children, a newborn baby, is now fighting for her life.

“I haven’t had time to think about that. Just…a lot of worry. Just trying to get through this,” said Leon Larche, the baby’s father. He lost the mother of his child in the crash.

Larche’s cousin said Celeste Williams was on her way to take her 5-year-old daughter to school when she crashed.

“Thankfully there was a bunch of wonderful bystanders by, that they were able to pull the newborn baby and the five year old out of the vehicle,” said Mary Jo Lock, Larche’s cousin. “But the mom, she died at the scene of the accident.”

Larche is from the Tri-Cities. His family also lives around Washington, but he now lives in Longview.

He said he doesn’t know the specifics. Larche said he was at work when he got the phone call about the car wreck, and his baby was going to the hospital.

“I mean, she was seven days old. She was literally a newborn when this happened to her. She’s two weeks old now,” said Lock.

He was on his way to Portland to see Baby Mary when he heard the mother of his child didn’t make it.

His daughter, only two weeks old, is in the ICU in Portland.

“She’s already had a blood transfusion. She failed on one ventilator,” said Locke. “She’s now on the new one, but she’s responding good to that.”

“She’s stable. That’s really all I can say, and stable in the ICU is a relative term,” said Larche.

Larche said he hasn’t had a lot of time to think about anything.

“First and foremost, it’s the kids, and then I’ll have time to process this later,” said Larche.

He said he’s been spending almost all of his time at the hospital with his daughter.

“I think if you asked me what one thing I need right now, I don’t know. Other than my girl home,” he said.

Larche and his family are asking for prayers and the strength to make it one day at a time.

Family set up a GoFundMe page that will be made into a trust for Baby Mary’s medical bills, and so Larche can be around his recovering daughter.