PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A mother, Samara Selena Banks, and her three young sons were struck and killed while trying to cross a busy Philadelphia highway after dark, and police on Wednesday were questioning a driver who may have been drag racing.
A fourth son was injured in the crash Tuesday night on Roosevelt Boulevard, a major artery that divides neighborhoods in north and northeast Philadelphia. The highway has become notorious for pedestrian fatalities, many of them at night and several involving drag racing.
Samara Selena Banks, 28, was pushing a stroller while crossing the boulevard with her four sons at about 10:30 p.m. when they were hit by a 2012 Audi, police said. The car appeared to be racing a 1994 Honda, witnesses told police.
Banks and her 23-month-old son died at the scene. The three other children were taken to hospitals, where the 7-month-old and 4-year-old were later pronounced dead. The surviving 5-year-old was in stable condition with bumps and bruises, police said. They identified the 7-month-old as Saamir Williams but did not immediately release the other boys’ names.
No arrests had been made, but police said Wednesday that charges were pending.
Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said there is a crosswalk near the area where the family was trying to cross, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether they were using it. Investigators said they were looking for surveillance video at the accident scene as they tried to piece together what had happened.
“We’re talking to several persons who witnessed this accident — some who were on foot, some who were in other vehicles when the accident occurred,” Small said. “We’re getting some information that there may have been drag racing.”
Relatives told reporters that Banks was returning home after visiting an aunt.
The accident closed the southbound lanes of the highway for hours before they were reopened at about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
In the wake of previous pedestrian deaths, city officials have called for more crosswalks and speed patrols on the boulevard.
Last August, 43-year-old Michael Romano died after pushing his 5-year-old son out of danger just before he was struck by a hit-and-run driver at 11 p.m. The driver was arrested three blocks away by a police officer who witnessed the crash, and was charged with vehicular homicide.
His death came just days after another man was killed in a 2 a.m. hit and run on the same stretch of road, which in that area is a divided, 12-lane highway.
In June 2009, 36-year-old pedestrian Brenda Rodriguez was struck and killed after she and a friend picked up Chinese food. Witnesses said she was struck by one of two drivers racing against each other, both of whom fled.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
1 of 25
2 of 25
3 of 25
4 of 25
5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
5 of 25
6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
6 of 25
7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
7 of 25
8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
8 of 25
9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
9 of 25
10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
10 of 25
11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
11 of 25
12. Late nights mornings
12 of 25
13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
13 of 25
14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
14 of 25
15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
15 of 25
16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
16 of 25
17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
17 of 25
18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
18 of 25
19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
19 of 25
20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
20 of 25
21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
21 of 25
22. Claudia Jordan: ....
22 of 25
23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
23 of 25
24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
24 of 25
25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
25 of 25