In one of the worst traffic accidents in Philadelphia history, a car rammed through a barricade and slammed into a parade crowd near the top of City Hall, killing and injuring dozens of people, the Daily News reported.
The driver of the SUV was driving off from a robbery at a convenience store when he smashed into the crowd. Officials did not offer any description of the robbery, but did say that police had been responding to a robbery call for a different store moments before the crash.
“It was a reckless act, and an act of cowardice,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said at a press conference. “The driver of the stolen vehicle deliberately sought to harm people in the march.”
The victims include a young man named Nick, whose family identified him as a victim. Nick had gone to the Philadelphia Eagles game with his grandfather, and left a restaurant with his girlfriend.
“Nick was one of the last people left on the street,” Nick’s mother, Aneesha Kumra, told the Daily News. “If he were alive, he would’ve laid out on the street to receive his last rites. He was leaving with his girlfriend, there’s a girl who was hit, she had to be flown, my son didn’t have a chance to protect her. He died right there.”
One witness said the people on the street were rushing for safety as the sedan sped toward them.
“It seemed like everybody was running,” Darrell Hicks told KYW. “People, I don’t know if they ran out in front of him or if they were trying to block his lane, but he was going down the street.”