A crash on the westbound Long Island Expressway between exits 64 and...

A crash on the westbound Long Island Expressway between exits 64 and 63, in which a drunken driver allegedly rear-ended a sedan with a father and son, is seen on Aug. 22, 2022. The son later died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Credit: Newsday / James Carbone

A 9-year-old boy has died from injuries he sustained last week in an alleged drunken-driving crash on the Long Island Expressway, the Suffolk County Police Department said Sunday night.

The boy, Angel Salas, had been a passenger Aug. 22 in a Toyota Corolla being driven by his dad, Bruce Koch, 49, of Deer Park, when the alleged drunken driver, 27-year-old Travis Dickson of Brooklyn, rear-ended the Corolla with a BMW.

The boy had been brain dead since Aug. 24 and was removed from life support on Saturday evening, said Leonard Achan, president and chief executive of LiveOnNY, the nonprofit that coordinates organ and tissue donations in the metro area. Angel's liver and kidneys were taken simultaneously, helping to save three lives of people in need of organs, Achan said.

The kidneys were transplanted into recipients in New York and the liver into a person in Florida, all sometime Saturday evening into Sunday morning, he said.  

“Angel Salas, a precious 9-year-old New Yorker who tragically lost his life after an alleged drunk driver hit his car, saved three people's lives in New York and Florida after his family generously gave the gift of life so that Angel and those waiting for transplants can live on," Achan said.

A news release from the organization said: “An Honor Walk was held for Angel, during which friends, family and hospital staff lined the hospital hallways as the boy was wheeled from his room to the operating room for donation. Honor Walks are a way to show gratitude and honor the heroic organ donor and their family for making the selfless decision to give the gift of life.”

The crash had occurred before 1:50 a.m. on  Aug. 22 on the expressway’s westbound side in Farmingville, between exits 64 and 63.

The three people involved in the crash were each brought to Stony Brook University Hospital — Angel with serious injuries, Koch with minor injuries and Dickson with non-life-threatening injuries, the department said.

Dickson was arraigned upon being discharged from the hospital and was charged with driving while intoxicated. At that Aug. 23 proceeding, he was ordered jailed on $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail, according to court records, which say Dickson hasn't posted the bail.

Dickson’s attorney, Michael J. Brown, did not return a message Monday seeking comment. Angel's family could not be reached for comment.

The department referred questions about Dickson's condition, alcohol testing and the possibility of other criminal charges to the district attorney's office, whose spokeswoman Shannon Wilson declined to provide further details.

According to preliminary statistics from the Albany-based Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, two of the 57 people killed so far this year in the state in alcohol-related crashes were youths, and both were 6 or younger.

Since 2011, the number of deaths each year of youths in alcohol-related crashes has ranged from four in 2019 to 16 in 2012, institute statistics show.

The figures don’t yet include Angel.

A 9-year-old boy has died from injuries he sustained last week in an alleged drunken-driving crash on the Long Island Expressway, the Suffolk County Police Department said Sunday night.

The boy, Angel Salas, had been a passenger Aug. 22 in a Toyota Corolla being driven by his dad, Bruce Koch, 49, of Deer Park, when the alleged drunken driver, 27-year-old Travis Dickson of Brooklyn, rear-ended the Corolla with a BMW.

The boy had been brain dead since Aug. 24 and was removed from life support on Saturday evening, said Leonard Achan, president and chief executive of LiveOnNY, the nonprofit that coordinates organ and tissue donations in the metro area. Angel's liver and kidneys were taken simultaneously, helping to save three lives of people in need of organs, Achan said.

The kidneys were transplanted into recipients in New York and the liver into a person in Florida, all sometime Saturday evening into Sunday morning, he said.  

“Angel Salas, a precious 9-year-old New Yorker who tragically lost his life after an alleged drunk driver hit his car, saved three people's lives in New York and Florida after his family generously gave the gift of life so that Angel and those waiting for transplants can live on," Achan said.

A news release from the organization said: “An Honor Walk was held for Angel, during which friends, family and hospital staff lined the hospital hallways as the boy was wheeled from his room to the operating room for donation. Honor Walks are a way to show gratitude and honor the heroic organ donor and their family for making the selfless decision to give the gift of life.”

The crash had occurred before 1:50 a.m. on  Aug. 22 on the expressway’s westbound side in Farmingville, between exits 64 and 63.

The three people involved in the crash were each brought to Stony Brook University Hospital — Angel with serious injuries, Koch with minor injuries and Dickson with non-life-threatening injuries, the department said.

Dickson was arraigned upon being discharged from the hospital and was charged with driving while intoxicated. At that Aug. 23 proceeding, he was ordered jailed on $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail, according to court records, which say Dickson hasn't posted the bail.

Dickson’s attorney, Michael J. Brown, did not return a message Monday seeking comment. Angel's family could not be reached for comment.

The department referred questions about Dickson's condition, alcohol testing and the possibility of other criminal charges to the district attorney's office, whose spokeswoman Shannon Wilson declined to provide further details.

According to preliminary statistics from the Albany-based Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, two of the 57 people killed so far this year in the state in alcohol-related crashes were youths, and both were 6 or younger.

Since 2011, the number of deaths each year of youths in alcohol-related crashes has ranged from four in 2019 to 16 in 2012, institute statistics show.

The figures don’t yet include Angel.

Latest videos