Surveillance shows deadly crash at Italian Market

March 27, 2012 4:51:45 AM PDT
Action News has obtained surveillance video of the crash at a South Philadelphia seafood market that killed a young girl.

Due to the graphic nature of the video, Action News is only showing a portion of the exclusive video, which can be viewed here.

Police say 28-year-old Max Drosi of Miami Florida was driving under the influence when his actions caused the terrible tragedy.

The surveillance video shows 11-year-old Samantha Ortanez-Nguyen, her half-brother, 2-year-old Aaron, and the boy's mother, 26-year-old Lacky Xiong standing on the corner outside Captain Jesse G., Inc. seafood waiting to cross the street.

Authorities say it was around 12:30 p.m. Sunday that Drosi was driving his rented Chevy Impala westbound on Washington Avenue when he blew a red light.

The video shows the car striking an SUV being driven by a woman traveling south on 8th Street.

Suddenly, the SUV careened out of control and right towards the three standing on the sidewalk.

The video and witnesses say they tried to run, but they didn't stand a chance.

"By the time they realized the car was coming to them, they tried to turn around and run, but she hit them from behind and they went against the wall," witness Wakil Horton said.

Surveillance video shows a fire truck and firemen arriving five and a half minutes later and paramedics arriving two minutes after them.

The 11-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both of Xiong's arms were broken. Aaron suffered a broken leg.

The suspected drunk driver was not injured.

Samantha's father Andrew Nguyen spoke to Action News Monday afternoon about the legacy his young daughter leaves behind.

"She is an angel," Nguyen said.

He wants everyone to know how exceptional she was and how much she will be missed.

"My whole family, we're so in love with her. Something tragic like this is just horrible, you know? It's ruined my whole family. My whole family is devastated," Nguyen said.

Samantha was a fifth grader at Erial Elementary in Sicklerville, New Jersey. She was a Girl Scout, a dancer, and dreamed of one day becoming a pediatrician.

"She has everything going for her. She's an honor roll student and now she is gone," Nguyen said.

Gloucester Township Schools Superintendent Tom Seddon visited the family to offer his condolences and share memories of a fifth grader who was very involved in school activities and very much adored.

"She was an outstanding student involved in a lot of different organizations. She was in Girl Scouts. She loved the DARE program. She was very well-liked by her peers and her teachers," Seddon said.

Andrew Nguyen reports late Monday that his son Aaron has been released from the hospital, but the boy's mother remains hospitalized.

A 46-year-old man who worked in Captain Jesse G., Inc. was also injured.

The driver of the SUV was also taken to the hospital after the accident.

Drosi is charged with Homicide by Vehicle and Driving Under the Influence. He is being held without bail.


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