Mother pleads for driver who hit her 6-year-old son in Hunting Park to come forward

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021
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Philadelphia police are looking for the driver who left the scene after striking a young child.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are looking for the driver who left the scene of a hit-and-run involving a child in the Hunting Park section.

The incident happened around 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

The boy's mother, Kelli Epps, said her son, 6-year-old Lincoln Brown-Epps, was crossing the street with his sister and cousin at the time.

The 6-year-old ran ahead and was struck by a passing minivan.

"You are so heartless to see a little boy lying on the ground, and just to leave the scene? Like, wow - how heartless can you be?" said Epps.

Epps said an ambulance rushed her son to the hospital with a concussion and bruises.

"It was the most traumatic experience I've ever been through in my life," said Epps.

Epps has been furious over this incident.

"You hit a little boy in the face with your truck, your van, how could you possibly think he's okay?" said Epps.

Epps said her son was crossing the street with his sister and cousin to go to the park.

"The 16-year-old daughter and the 14-year-old cousin, they told me he said, 'he's okay,' and hopped back in the car," said Epps. "Like, how could you think somebody's okay?"

Police said the man was driving a light-colored minivan with a temporary New Jersey paper tag of 005218T. The van has significant damage to the right side of the driver door and rear door, and was last seen traveling west on West Erie Avenue.

"He didn't commit a crime when he hit that child, obviously it wasn't intentional, but when you leave the scene you do commit a crime," said Captain Mark Overwise from the Philadelphia Police Accident Investigation Division.

"lt's just heartbreaking. I don't know why my son did what he did, they were all walking together, and then he just took off in the street which he never does," said Epps. "But he's 6 years old, he doesn't know right from wrong, that man clearly does."

Witnesses said neighbors ran to cover the boy in prayers.

"When I heard it was a kid I freaked out, I just immediately put my daughter back in the house," said Melissa Thomas, who said she was at the scene and heard the impact.

Epps said she has watched this surveillance video countless times and wants justice for her son.

"It was gut-wrenching to watch, and now I don't even have any more tears. I'm just mad at this point," said Epps.

Police said because the driver had a temporary license plate, that has made it harder to track him down.

Epps said her son has to go back to the hospital to have a couple of teeth removed. While he doesn't have serious injuries, he hasn't stepped outside since the incident, traumatized from what happened to him.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police. If you see the man, police say do not approach him. Call 9-1-1 immediately.