The Longview boy severely injured in a Highway 30 crash that killed his father died Sunday of his injuries, according to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Noah Waite-Brown died at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland from injuries suffered in the April 14 crash west of Clatskanie. He was 8.
His father, Lucas William Brown, 36, died in the crash that injured five other people, including Noah’s half-brother.
The death has devastated Noah’s family, who are still reeling from the sudden death of his mother Leah “Nikki” Waite last month. The cause of Waite’s death is still undetermined.
“Our family is completely broken up after losing my sister and now my nephew,” Noah’s aunt, Melissa Toney, said Sunday. “It’s been an absolute nightmare.”
The family was told early on that Noah’s condition was grave, Toney said. He was taken off coma-inducing medication on Tuesday, when most of the family said their good-byes. He never regained consciousness. His great-grandparents, who had been raising him since his mother’s death, stayed with Noah through Sunday, Toney said.
Noah’s younger half-sister Bella, 6, who lives with her father in Cathlamet, was told of his death and is coping as best she can with the double loss, Toney said. Toney and her mother also visited Noah’s half-brother, Kane Gabriel Brown, 7, of Longview on Sunday to tell him in person, she said. Kane also was injured in the crash but is recovering and now dealing with the loss of his father and brother, Toney said.
Their sole comfort, Toney said, is knowing Noah is with the mother he adored.
“He wanted to be with his mommy so bad after she passed away,” Toney said through tears. “It was all he’d talk about, being with his mommy again.”
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She said Noah was a happy little boy who loved joking and being with his family. The family worked hard to ensure he saw his sister Bella regularly after their mother’s death. and Noah was close to his uncle Chris Frey. Noah’s mom called him “Squishy” due to his chubby cheeks when he was born and his grandmother christened him “Doodlebug” which seemed to suit him, Toney said.
“He was a happy little boy and he just loved life,” she said. “He was loved by his cousins and his sister. We all adored him and he is going to be missed more than I can explain or express.”
Adding to the family’s sorrow, Toney said, are fake Facebook postings and donation requests that were not written by the family. Someone claiming to be Noah’s sister is posting things on the site, but Toney said it’s an imposter. The situation has been reported to police, she said.
“It’s very sad that someone would do a scam like this at this time,” she said.
Noah was a third-grader at Columbia Heights Elementary School in Longview, and staff spent part of Sunday contacting his classmates’ families to break the news, Principal Jay Opgrande said. Extra counselors and support staff are being pulled in from throughout the district to help students and staff cope with the news and loss this morning.
“Obviously it’s a tragic loss for everyone involved,” Opgrande said. “And our biggest concern is with the family and his classmates and making sure we can support them.”
The April 14 crash happened at 5:36 p.m. about 13 miles west of Clatskanie, when Brown’s car crossed the center line of Highway 30 while rounding a curve and collided head-on with another car. Also injured were the other car’s driver, Kimberly Anne Sultan, 42, of Astoria, and her passengers: Ivan Sultan, 44; Keanu Sultan, 16; and Emily Lloyd, 22 months. Kimberly Ann Sultan was listed in fair condition Sunday at Legacy Emanual Hospital.
On Friday, Oregon State Police said Brown had been speeding recklessly shortly before the crash, according to witness statements. Toxicology test results are pending.