Donald was one of the passengers who sat in the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815. The tail section tore off and landed on a different side of the Island than the plane's middle section. This group of survivors, who became known as the "Tailies", were the first to be attacked by a mission of the Others.
Donald suffered from a major leg fracture due to the crash; it was Libby who put the bone back in place, though Donald passed out because of the pain. However, Donald succumbs to his injuries five days after the crash, due to an infection on the injury, and became the fourth death of the tailies. He was buried by Nathan and Goodwin, which is visible in the episode, but seen more clearly in an ABC promotional still.
Donald was later referenced in the Season 2 episode Dave by Libby. Hurley not knowing Donald's name was used as proof by Libby that the entire island is not a fabrication of Hurley's imagination.