Friend remembers victim of Southwest Philadelphia hit-and-run; 1 arrest

Monday, May 21, 2018
Friend remembers victim of SW Phila. hit-and-run; 1 arrest
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Friend remembers victim of SW Phila. hit-and-run; 1 arrest. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 4pm on May 21, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have made an arrest following a fatal hit-and-run crash in Southwest Philadelphia, as a friend remembers the victim who was killed.

It happened just before 2 a.m. Monday. Police say the driver of a minivan tried to make a left turn from Passyunk Avenue onto 63rd Street when the vehicles collided.

The car went airborne after going over a curb and slammed into two light poles, leaving the vehicle nearly unrecognizable.

There were two passengers in the Mustang. Both had to be cut out of the wreckage because the car was so mangled.

Police say the 29-year-old driver, who was visiting this area from Georgia, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 26-year-old passenger was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in critical condition. He is expected to survive.

Shareema Johnson stared in disbelief at the long trail of debris that lay strewn across the street.

"This is just devastating," she said.

Johnson's best friend was killed in the crash.

"It's kind of hard because I never thought this would happen," she said.

Johnson says she could have been the third victim. She said she was supposed to go out with the victim last night but dozed off. She said the driver was not drinking.

"This morning I got a phone call saying that he was in a bad car accident and he didn't make it," she said.

Horrific as it may be, those who frequent this intersection and live nearby say it's a familiar scene.

"Not so much of a surprise, this area, especially this corner right here has been a huge area where just driving wise - people's driving habits - it's a high accident prone area," said Lukas Zannopoulos.

"I had an accident coming out of here," said Carl Jackson. "I was coming out and they were trying to beat the light."

Police say they ran the tags on the minivan and shortly thereafter made an arrest. So far, no charges have been filed.

Accident investigators are still hoping to get their hands on surveillance camera footage that may give some insight as to what happened in the seconds leading up to the crash. Speed may have been a factor.

Johnson tells us the man killed leaves behind five young children.


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