Family identifies 17-year-old mom struck near Philadelphia high school

Police say the driver, a fellow student, hit Saniah Moore while backing up.

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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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The family describes Saniah Moore as a fun person with a big heart, and most importantly a great mother to her 7-month-old daughter.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family members identified 17-year-old Saniah Moore as the victim killed after being struck in front of Excel Academy South on Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the driver, a fellow student, hit her while backing up.

Jessica Sollenberger says she watched the moment her daughter was hit and does not believe it was an accident.

"I watched it happen right in front of me," said Sollenberger. "An accident means you stop, you know what I'm saying? You see if that person is ok, but you didn't stop. You drove off."

According to police, officers were first called to Excel Academy South, an accelerated school that sits on the grounds of Friends Hospital on the 4600 block of E. Roosevelt Boulevard, on reports of a dispute or altercation.

Officers found Moore lying in the parking lot unresponsive. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

"That wasn't no accident. We're never going to have our niece, my sister never going to have her daughter, her daughter never going to have her mom," said the victim's aunt, Corrine Sollenberger. "She would've went far, she dreamed of going to Paris, to go to school over there, take her daughter over there."

The family describes the teen as a fun person with a big heart, and most importantly a great mother to her 7-month-old daughter.

"My niece got to life without her mother for the rest of her life. She's only 7 months. How she going to remember her mom? What is she going to remember about her. All we got videos to show her now like, yeah, your mom loved you," said Christian Moore, the victim's brother.

Philadelphia police say the investigation is active and ongoing with the Homicide Detectives Division.

The driver was taken into custody and is cooperating with police.

As far as justice, Saniah's family says they don't know what that looks like.

"I watched it happen right in front of me. You didn't care about the life that you stole from someone," said Sollenberger. "My daughter didn't even get to watch her daughter walk, nothing."

The Philadelphia School District released a statement Thursday morning:

"We are heartbroken to learn about the passing of an Excel Academy South student, whose life was tragically lost yesterday as a result of an automobile accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the students involved. Excel Academy South is an accelerated high school, which is operated by an external provider. Since this is an active investigation, all questions regarding the incident should be directed to the Philadelphia Police Department."