Columbia Fire Chief's nephew dies after being hit by accused drunk driver

Josiah Jenkins

COLUMBIA (WACH) - The grandnephew of Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins died Tuesday morning from injuries sustained in car crash over the weekend.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says LaToya Jenkins and her son Josiah Jenkins were traveling on North Springs Road Friday night, when Lonnie Gross III hit the young boy's side of the car. Investigators say Gross was drunk at the time of the crash.

According to records from SLED, the 44-year-old Gross has a lengthy criminal past, including seven DUI arrests and four DUI convictions.

"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." said Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

Troopers say warrants for felony DUI resulting in death have been re-issued for Gross.

A spokesperson for the Highway Patrol said Gross was driving with a suspended license when Friday night's crash happened.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol MAIT Team continues to investigate.

Gross is due in bond court Tuesday night.