Woman struck, killed by street racer identified

June 3, 2009 2:38:13 PM PDT
Police have released the name of a woman who was struck and killed by a car that was involved in an illegal street race. The woman, Brenda Rodriguez, 36, was struck early Wednesday morning along Roosevelt Boulevard, and was left to die on the road.

Rodriguez was a mother of five with six grandchildren.

Rodriguez had bought some Chinese takeout food with a friend just after midnight, then the two of them started to cross Roosevelt Boulevard at Rising Sun Avenue in Feltonville.

That's when, police say, the two cars suddenly appeared on the Boulevard, speeding north.

"She did realize at the time that the cars were speeding her way. She attempted to run and make it to safety on the median. She was maybe two steps away from getting on that median before she was struck," said Officer Charles Phillips of the Philadelphia Police.

Neither car stopped after she was hit, and Rodriguez died on the street. Her friend was not injured.

Witnesses say both cars fled north on the Boulevard.

The car that hit Rodriguez is described as a late 1990s model Oldsmobile or Pontiac Bonneville, either gold or tan in color.

Police are also looking for a blue Dodge Neon, which investigators say was racing the striking vehicle at the time of the accident. The blue Neon had two white stripes down the hood, roof and trunk. It also had a glowing blue border around the rear license plate.

Both vehicles fled north on the Boulevard. The two suspected racers remain on the loose.

"The person that hit her don't have no remorse as to stop to make sure she was okay or anything. They just kept going, they didn't stop at all," said cousin Sandra Colon. "This is mother of five kid. Come to the police, give yourself up."

"If you guys are seeing this, have some remorse," said sister Maria Sierra. "Turn yourself in. What, you're going to keep on racing and somebody else is going to get hurt?"

Police shutdown the northbound outer lanes of the Boulevard for more than three hours to search for evidence that would help them catch the suspects.

Police say the racers did not trigger any red-light cameras, indicating they know the area, and know where the cameras are posted.

Investigators also say that area of the Boulevard is not known for drag racing.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.

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