Three killed in Kensington crash

January 13, 2008 9:04:14 PM PST
Police have charged a North Philadelphia man in last night's car crash that killed 3 teens and left two others in critical condition. 27-year-old Hanif Presley is charged with manslaughter, homicide by vehicle, and driving under the influence.

Neighbors say the impact between the small Honda with six teens and the larger Buick shook their houses. Investigators say the teens were innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Killed at the scene was 17-year-old Louis Figueroa III. The driver of the Honda, 19-year-old Esteban Santiago and 18-year-old Wilfredo Trevino Jr., a recent graduate of Roman Catholic High School, later died at Temple University Hospital. Trevino's younger brother Angel remains in intensive care with a blood clot in his brain. Two others remain in critical condition.

Early this morning a few of the teens' friends gathered near the crash scene at American Street and Cecil B. Moore. By midday dozens of people gathered, from teens to grieving grandparents trying to understand exactly what happened.

Louis Figueroa's dad, Louis Jr. said he and his son had just talked shortly before the crash via cell phone. Figueroa's mother, Carmen Batiz said she hopes the driver of the larger car, who was allegedly drunk and initially ran from the scene, realizes what he did.

"The person who did it took away something very precious to me. He took a kid full of life, full of energy. He took a kid that everybody loved," said Batiz.

Both Figueroa and Trevino were part of a larger group of young people, a dance group called The No Limit that had performed at various parties. Tears rolled down the faces of those who knew them well.