Suspects in Roosevelt Blvd. crash each held on $2.5 million bail

OLNEY - July 18, 2013

One of the suspects was in deep trouble before the accident, and now it's much worse.

The other is a new father who is now accused of killing a young a mother and three of her children.

Both men are facing numerous charges, including murder.

"These two stopped at three separate lights and then raced. Stop, race. Stop, race. So that sustained recklessness is how it got to murder," said Philadelphia Police Captain John Wilczynski.

22-year-old Khusen Akhmedov was free on bail when he allegedly raced down the boulevard in an Audi 4S Tuesday night.

Police say he was racing from light to light with 31-year-old Ahem Holloman, who was behind the wheel of a 1994 Honda.

Nine witnesses say the men were flying fast when Akhmedov plowed into Samara Banks, killing her and three of her children.

In April, Akhmedov and seven other people were arrested for Medicare fraud. They allegedly used an ambulance company to file $3.6 million worth of phony claims.

An ambulance was parked in Akhmedov's driveway in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday.

Holloman lives with his girlfriend and newborn son in a house in the Northeast, where his car was parked today under police guard.

"He was coming down to see me, and all this happened," said William Torres of Olney.

Holloman and Akhmedov are now both charged with third degree murder and homicide by vehicle along with multiple related offenses.

Holloman's car has been souped up, but his best friend says he claims he wasn't racing.

"He said he didn't race, he didn't race," said Torres. "I don't know what they're trying to accuse him of, but he's not that type of person. I know him. He's a caring guy."

Both men have previous records of multiple motor vehicle offenses.

Akhmedov's Facebook page features videos of him drag racing the Audi involved in the accident. There are also videos of him carving donuts in a parking lot in the car.

The police say he appears to have a need for speed - a need that allegedly led to an unspeakable tragedy.

"It's a very sad and unfortunate situation, and even our veteran officers here were shaken by it. It was tough for them out there, too," said Wilczynski.

Sad indeed. And it might not have happened at all if federal prosecutors had their way when Akhmedov was arrested for fraud in April.

The federal prosecutor asked that he be held without bail. But the judge freed him on $100,000 unsecured bond.

Both Akhmedov and Holloman are each being held on $2.5 million bail.


The tragedy unfolded Tuesday night.

Police say Banks and her four young boys, from the 4600 Block of C Street, were crossing Roosevelt Boulevard at North Second Street in Olney just before 10:30 p.m. when they were hit.

Samara and her 1½-year-old son Saa-sean Williams were pronounced dead at the scene.

9-month-old Saa-mir Williams, was transported to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he later died.

Samara's 4-year-old son Saa-deem Griffin was transported to Saint Christopher's Hospital where he was pronounced dead early Wednesday.

Samara's fourth child, 5-year-old Saa-yon Griffin, remains in stable condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center with bumps and bruises.

A large crowd of friends and family gathered along Roosevelt Boulevard Wednesday night to mourn the deaths of Banks and her boys.

"I'm hurt real bad, and my son taking it real hard," said the boys' grandfather, Walter Fullard. "And I want something to be done about this."

"We're just grieving right now," said Latonia Byrd, "for my niece and the children. And we have to worry about one more child that has to live."

Relatives say Banks was a doting mother.

She and her children had been visting her grandmother on the other side of the Boulevard last night and were on their way home when they were hit.

"There are no words to describe losing your daughter and three of your grandchildren. I'm very distraught right now," Samara's stepfather Walter Homes said.

"We did a lot of things together. I love her and miss her so much; I miss my godson so much," Saa-sean's Godmother Tyeisha Marshall said.

Roosevelt Boulevard had the nation's 2nd and 3rd most dangerous intersections in a 2001 insurance company study, which tallied 618 crashes at those two intersections alone in a two-year period.

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