PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A woman is hospitalized after a hit-and-run driver struck her and two young children in West Philadelphia Monday night.
It happened just before 10 p.m. near the intersection of 50th Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia.
According to police, 29-year-old Zerina Grisby was at a neighborhood corner store with her 3-year-old son, two nieces and a friend. They were crossing the street when the crash occurred.
Grisby and her two nieces, ages 13 and 3, were hit by the vehicle.
"These three victims were hit with such force they were all knocked out of their footwear because we found their shoes and sneakers and slides all on the sidewalk," said Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small.
Grisby suffered a severe injury to her leg and was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition.
"Her leg was halfway off. She was bleeding to death. I guess she pushed her son out the way to save him and she got hit, but she couldn't avoid her nieces getting hit," said the victim's sister, Yahyah Gary.
Police said they're looking for a dark-colored car, possibly a Nissan, that was last seen traveling on Haverford Avenue. Nearby surveillance video captured the wanted vehicle.
Family members say Grisby underwent successful surgery Tuesday, and it appears her leg won't have to be amputated.
The young girls suffered minor injuries, according to police. No other injuries were reported.
Investigators said the vehicle was going so fast it knocked a fire hydrant off its base when it struck the victims.
John Smith, a good Samaritan who was passing by, said he tried to help the 29-year-old victim.
"She literally yelled out, 'Why is this happening to me?'" Smith said. "There's no excuse."
He said the injury was gruesome and that witnesses did all they could until help arrived.
"We did everything that we could to keep her calm, let her know that she'll be OK," Smith said. "The police did come and they did tie a tourniquet and tried to stop the bleeding and that probably did save her life."
Smith said the five-point intersection is busy and that several crashes have happened there this summer.
Officers are reviewing video of the crash and said they do believe speed played a factor.
No arrests have been made at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.