A Smithville woman faces up to 15 years in prison in a crash that mortally wounded her only child, a 5-year-old daughter.
Samantha Jones, 31, is charged with driving while intoxicated in the Sunday, June 24, crash in Platte County. Her blood alcohol content was at or above .18 — more than double the legal limit, according to court records. She was charged Monday, June 25, and is out on bond.
The mother reportedly said at the scene of the wreck: "My baby is my world. I don’t care if I go to jail, I just want my baby to be OK."
The crash occurred near Skinner Lake Road and Highway E.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Macklyn Lucas — a precocious girl who took quickly to soccer, dance and swimming — died three days later, on Wednesday.
"Not a person that met her didn't instantly fall in love with her," said her father, Beau Lucas, in a message to The Star. "She was caring, compassionate, funny and so wise beyond her years."
On Thursday, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd amended Jones' bond conditions to allow her to leave her residence to make funeral arrangements.
Luke Lucas, Macklyn's uncle and Beau's brother, said he hugged Jones at the hospital as he and other family members prayed Macklyn would make an unlikely recovery.
"I told her I was sorry," Luke Lucas said. "She told me, 'No, I'm sorry.'"
Macklyn was deemed the "princess of Smithville" by Casi Joy, a country singer from Smithville who gained national recognition last year as a contestant on NBC's "The Voice."
"We lost my biggest fan Macklyn," Joy wrote on Facebook this past week. "I can't put into words the sadness I'm feeling. … This beautiful little girl was the face of our town, and her family needs you now."
Joy set up a GoFundMe account on behalf of the family. As of Saturday evening, donations have totaled more than $23,000.
Luke Lucas also set up a GoFundMe account.
"This was a girl that was full of life, tougher than any boy and had a smile that could melt your heart," Lucas wrote. "She fought valiantly to the very end."
He asked for donations to assist with the family's "astronomical" medical bills and to defray funeral expenses. The account, as of Saturday night, has raised about $11,000 of a $20,000 goal.
The family decided to donate Macklyn's organs, and Luke Lucas said her heart will go to another young girl.
"I think that brought joy to (Macklyn's father)," Luke Lucas said. "Even in her death, she brought life to someone else."