"Best baby you could ever have:" Seven-month-old killed in crash; mother accused of driving drunk

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A seven-month-old boy has died and his mother sustained serious injuries following a single-vehicle rollover crash. It  happened shortly after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18th near Appleton and Burleigh, and police suspect the baby’s mother was drunk at the time of the crash.

Witnesses tell police that an SUV was traveling eastbound on W. Appleton Avenue at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control of the car at W. Burleigh Street, causing the vehicle to strike a fence, a pole and a building, eventually turning onto its side.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s report on this crash and the death of the seven-month-old baby says when first responders arrived on scene, the vehicle was pinned against a utility pole at a 90-degree angle. The baby’s mother, a 22-year-old Milwaukee woman was pinned in the driver’s seat and she had to be extricated.

About 20 minutes into the extrication process, the Medical Examiner’s report says first responders noticed an infant car seat hanging upside down with an infant loosely hanging out of it. The baby was unresponsive. The report says the baby boy declined rapidly en route to Children’s Hospital, with obvious swelling to his head and abdomen.

The report says the baby’s mother was apparently unaware the infant was in the vehicle — and as she was transported to the hospital, the report says she was talking about how she was going to get to work in the morning.


The vehicle sustained “an enormous amount of damage” according to the Medical Examiner’s report, and several parts from the vehicle and concrete shards from the building were scattered at the scene. The baby’s car seat was found to have had a broken carrier handle. The report says when first responders extricated the baby’s mother, the car seat did not appear to be secured to the seat.

The baby’s mother is receiving treatment at the hospital for serious injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.  She is in police custody for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and operating after suspension, causing death.

O'Ryan Shaw's father says his little boy had a wonderful mother who made a very big mistake.

"I just couldn't believe that she was driving and didn't secure the baby. I know she didn't mean to. I know that she thought she was doing right. I know she could have thought she could drive. She would never intentionally hurt our children, or hurt our son. This situation right now, just, I don't know what to say. I've never been through this before," Richard Shaw said.

Richard Shaw says he's devastated over the loss of his son.

"O'Ryan was a ball of joy. Best baby you could ever have. I just knew he would do something great when he grew up. We picked the name O'Ryan because it was in the Bible and we saw great things for our son," Richard Shaw said.

Richard Shaw says he does not want anyone else to feel the pain he's feeling, and he asks that people not drink and drive.

Flora Hayward says the driver in this case was her niece, Regina Mitchell.

“It took a lot out of me right here just to see this because it’s just so much. It’s just so much. I saw it on the news and I said ‘Lord, whoever’s family that is, please have mercy, Lord. I didn’t know it was my family. I didn’t know,” Hayward said.

These family members say they tried to visit Regina Mitchell at the hospital but they were not allowed. So instead, they came to the scene to remember a baby they’ll never be able to see or hold again.

“I said ‘you’re my baby,’ and I said ‘I’m going to have you, and you’re going to grow up and you’re going to be a big boy.’ It’s really tough,” Hayward said.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the baby killed in this crash. He is identified as O’Ryan Shaw. He was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital around 2:45 a.m. The baby’s cause of death has been determined to be blunt force injuries to his head.

A makeshift memorial now sits at the scene of the crash in honor of the baby boy.

The case will be presented to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for charges against the mother in the coming days.

A memorial fund has been set up to cover the costs of burial and a gravestone. Donate to the Shaw Benefit or Baby O'Ryan Memorial Fund at any Associated Bank.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.