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Family: Child killed on I-10 wanted to be a hero, will be as an organ donor

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BATON ROUGE – The 5-year-old killed in a chain-reaction crash when an 18-wheeler plowed into stopped traffic on I-10 earlier this week will live on as an organ donor family members told WBRZ.

Xander Cruz Benoit, 5, had been in the hospital since Tuesday afternoon and was declared dead Thursday morning. His grandmother said his body remained on life support so they could find people to take his donated organs.

“Little Xan wanted to be a hero,” she said. “He wanted to be a police officer… firefighter. He just wanted to help people. That was in his heart.” Family members said as an organ donor, his dream of being a hero is fulfilled.

Xander Cruz  Benoit was in the backseat of one of the vehicles crushed by the collision on I-10 East near La. 1 in West Baton Rouge around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. His mom was in the seat in front of him, sitting in the front passenger's side seat when the impact happened. The child's mom, a musician, had her right arm crushed and needed reconstructive surgery this week to repair many broken bones. Another woman driving the vehicle was less severely injured and was released from the hospital. She's now with the rest of the family, at another Baton Rouge hospital where everyone's gathered.

The entire family are musicians from the Lafayette area.

The child's grandfather is a noted Cajun performer and recorded a song about the birth of his grandson a few years ago.

Translate the Cajun music lyrics here.

Authorities said after the child's death, the driver of the semi who caused the pileup will face additional charges of negligent homicide. 

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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