Hundreds attend vigil for fatal carjacking crash victims

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Hundreds attended a vigil to remember the victims of Friday's carjacking and hit-and-run that killed three young children.

At Germantown and Allegheny avenues in the Tioga section of Philadelphia, with each passing hour, people stop to bring something to contribute to the memorial and pray for the victims of last week's carjacking and deadly crash.

On Tuesday night, hundreds attended a vigil at that same location.

Standing together, a grieving community held hands, prayed, and even cried together.

On Friday, 10-year-old Thomas Reed, his brother 7-year-old Terrence Moore, their sister 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, were selling fruit for a church fundraiser when an out of control, carjacked SUV hit and killed them.

Their mother, 35-year-old Keisha Williams, was critically injured.

65-year-old Thelma Brown, a family friend, was also hurt.

Tuesday night's gathering was to remember those who were hurt and lost in an instant.

"There are so many questions we have no answers to. Our tears seem to never end. Our hearts are completely broken. We can't believe this is our new reality, a nightmare that just won't end," Keisha Willams' cousin Cassandra Alexander said.

"Even though I don't know any of you, I thank you for coming out to supporting us," granddaughter Thelma Brown said.

Strangers like Donna Austin of North Philadelphia who never met the families felt compelled to be at the vigil.

"It's children. Your heart aches for kids, especially something as tragic as this," Austin said.

Community leaders spoke words of encouragement.

"The conditions of the people will not change until the people change the condition within themselves," State Representative Curtis Thomas said.

Family members clung to each other, taking it moment by moment

"We're reliving it every moment, words cannot express what we're going through," Alexander said.
Some, like John Hernandez of North Philadelphia, who witnessed the crash feel compelled to return to the scene again and again.

"One minute, you're just happy, blasting music on your way to work and then in the drop of a second you see how short life can be," Hernandez said.

The accused carjackers, Jonathan Rosa and Cornelius Crawford, were arraigned overnight and denied bail.

Investigators say they carjacked a real estate agent, sexually assaulted her and then lost control of the stolen SUV when a tire blew as they turned the corner at the Tioga intersection.

They car crashed into the fruit stand, striking the family.

The carjacking victim was in the backseat and was also injured.

The suspects took off and were taken into custody Sunday after a citywide manhunt.

Action News confirmed through the family that the funerals for the three young victims are scheduled for Monday.

NBA great Charles Barkley has offered to pay for the funerals.

Related Topics:
philly newscar accidentpedestrian struckNorth Philadelphia
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