Mother and Three Young Sons Killed in Drag Racing Crash

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent crash in Philadelphia that killed a mother and her three young sons, though fortunately the fourth son survived. The family was attempting to cross the road when struck by cars suspected to be drag racing.

The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Roosevelt Boulevard, a major highway running through north and northeast Philadelphia. State investigators said the 27-year-old mother was attempting to cross Roosevelt with her four sons at the time of the accident, at least one of whom was in a stroller.

The mother and a one-year-old were pronounced dead at the scene. Her other three children were quickly taken to a nearby hospital, where the nine-month-old was pronounced dead. The four-year-old hung onto life until about 4:45 a.m., and the five-year-old is currently in critical condition.

The Police Chief Inspector told local news stations that the family was near a crosswalk at the time of the accident, although it was not immediately clear whether they were directly on it. Investigators are searching for surveillance video and interviewing witnesses to determine the events leading up to the fatal crash. Witnesses reported seeing several vehicles traveling at extraordinarily high speeds, which led police to suspect they were drag racing.

Fortunately, there were several witnesses to the accident, both on foot and in motor vehicles, who can attest to whether or not the culprits were racing. A 22-year-old was taken in for questioning, though no arrests were immediately reported.

A similar crash occurred in 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina, resulting in a lawsuit against a development company. The wreck occurred on N.C. 49 around 6 p.m. and killed a mother and her 2-year-old daughter. The pair was turning left from Riverpointe Drive onto Grand Palisades Parkway to head to church when a Mitsubishi Eclipse slammed into them.

The Mitsubishi, which was racing another car down N.C. 49 at the time, was carrying a 13-year-old passenger in it who also died the next day. Both the family of the 13-year-old and mother and daughter decided to file a lawsuit against Crescent Resources, the development company that built the up-scale Palisades community where the crash occurred. The families allege that the company was negligent in failing to install a traffic light at the intersection, and are asking for $5 million for each victim.

Crescent Resources was given conditional zoning to build the community, which included installing traffic signals at the N.C. 49 intersection, costing more than $215,000. However, there was no light at the intersection on that fatal evening, because, as Crescent argues, the city never proved it was required.

One resident of Riverpointe testified that he started lobbying for a traffic signal to the city and state transportation departments when he became president of the Riverpointe Homeowners Association. He stated that turning out of Riverpointe was exceedingly difficult after the recent population boom, stating it was a lot like playing chicken. Installation was finally approved and set to begin in fall 2009, however, this proved to be too late, as the fatal crash occurred in April of that year.

In 2011, a jury convicted the Mitsubishi driver of three counts of involuntary manslaughter, and he was sentenced to about three years in prison. Police estimated he slammed into the mother and daughter at about 85 miles per hour, in a race with Carlene Atkinson. Atkinson was also sentenced to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and served two years in prison.

Drag racing attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn the public about the dangers of racing on public roads, particularly in high-traffic areas. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.

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