It happened just before 4 p.m. Thursday in the 6400 block of Oxford Avenue.
Chopper 6 HD was over the area where a Mercury sedan overturned after colliding with another car. Crews pulled a 51-year-old woman, the driver, and a 54-year-old man, a passenger, from the Mercury.
Police said the woman died instantly from the impact of the crash.
"The woman was decapitated, so she was pronounced dead at 4 p.m.," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.
The man was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center in very critical condition. He later died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
Police said the woman driver sped down Hellerman Street at a high rate of speed, went across an empty lot, knocking down trees and a fence.
"A small tree that was torn down was lodged in the vehicle," Small said. "Medics had to actually pull the tree out of the vehicle."
Investigators are waiting to hear back from the medical examiner on anything that might explain why the woman literally floored the gas pedal, driving at tremendous speed and ultimately resulting in the horrific crash.
One witness told Action News, "The car looked like a speeding bullet."
Juliana Perez was inside the apartment with her children where the car came to rest.
"I felt a loud tremor and then the window just shattered, it just exploded," she said. "It was the scare of my life."
The crash was captured by the apartment building's surveillance camera.
The video shows that just seconds before the crash, a driver had exited one of the parked cars and crossed the parking lot, right in the path soon to be traveled by the out-of-control Mercury Sable.
Neighbor Brittany West said normally there are children playing in the area as well. Her car was one of those demolished by the crash.
"I just know somebody lost their life, and you know that is more valuable than a car," she said. "That is unfortunate."
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