Vans collide in massive Port Richmond crash

March 30, 2011 3:29:54 PM PDT
A father is dead and a teen is being tested for DUI after a pair of vans collided in Philadelphia's Port Richmond section.

The deadly accident occurred shortly after 11:00 p.m. at Richmond and Schiller streets.

The victim has been identified as 50-year-old Benny Vidals of Camden.

Last night, Benny was on his way home after a long day of work when his minivan was rear ended.

Police sources say the driver of the other vehicle was driving under the influence.

19-year-old John Casey was driving a specially outfitted van owned by his paraplegic friend.

Police say he rear ended Vidals' minivan and then flipped over and smashed into a utility pole.

Casey and his paraplegic friend were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Vidals was pronounced dead at the scene.

He leaves behind a 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

Eda Vidals says her husband Benny was a dedicated family man who worked long hours to provide for his two children. She says he got up early every morning to walk his son to the school bus stop.

"He woke up every morning at 6 in the morning to catch the bus with my son. Who's going to help him now? That drunk guy? Who?" Eda said

Vidal's widow says they didn't have much, but they had each other and a dream of someday sending their children to college.

His family is asking for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers to make others think twice before getting behind the wheel.

"I want to ask for justice to these people who've done this to my brother," Benny's brother Celso Vidals said.

"It has to be more punishment for drunk drivers. It hurts innocent people [and] kids. And it's just not fair," Benny's brother-in-law Neftalid Veliz said.

Police drew blood from Casey for testing and say they intend to file charges as soon as they receive the results.

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