A man fleeing police plowed his car into a crowd in Feltonville last night, killing three children and leaving the mother of one of them in critical condition.
The crash happened shortly after 7:30 on Third Street just south of Annsbury Street.
A witness who came upon the scene immediately after the accident called it horrific.
Samuel Colon, 41, who lives nearby, heard the crash and went to investigate, he said. He saw the bodies of two children who appeared to be have been dismembered and a girl pinned under the car.
"I checked her pulse, and she was gone," Colon said.
Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, gave this account:
At 7:29 p.m. at Fisher and Rising Sun Avenues in Olney, two men took a Yamaha motorcycle at gunpoint. One rode off on the Yamaha; the other fled in a silver Pontiac Grand Am.
At 7:31, an officer spotted the Pontiac at C Street and Roosevelt Boulevard and began chasing it.
The Pontiac turned south on Third and jumped the curb just south of Annsbury, Vanore said. It struck four people: three children younger than 10 - one a toddler - and a woman who was the mother of one of the victims, he said.
Two of the children were pronounced dead at the scene. Another was pronounced dead at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. The woman, who is in her 20s, was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center in critical condition.
The high-speed crash was so violent that the Pontiac was totaled and ended up wedged between a rowhouse and a utility pole.
The accident scene was frenetic, with scores of officers guarding a large perimeter to keep back the many people who had gathered, some overcome with emotion. At one point, police led two women away, one screaming: "She's only 7! She's only 7!"
Mayor Nutter, who arrived with his police commanders, spoke briefly with reporters.
"This is an incredible tragedy," he said.
"Three children killed senselessly through the action of this individual. All we can ask is that the citizens of the city pray for these children, pray for these families," he said.
The suspect, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said. A gun was recovered from the Pontiac, police said.
Re: Car fleeing police kills 3 pedestrian children
Originally Posted by plowking
Police are just as much to blame as the killer.
We seem to be the only ones that have a police force that seems not capable of calling off a chase if deemed to dangerous.
Get a chopper to follow the guy, instead of after seeing the car calling on a full on chase. It's the sensible thing to do, and allows you to catch the guy while at a standstill.
It's very sad what happened and the guy should get back 10 fold in punishment what he did to those kids.
you have a point... some of the chases in Philly are very dangerous to the public and the police should have a better protocol here... but I cant blame 5-0 for this guy... this guy seemed hell bent on destruction...you'd be crazy to travel down some of these blocks at high speeds.... a terrible crash is all but certain...