Police have identified the passenger killed when a speeding, stolen car rammed another car and three pedestrians last night in Kingsessing as Kalil Sephus, 20, of Warrington Avenue near 56th.
The driver, 19, whose name wasn't released, is in critical condition at Hahnemann University Hospital after the 7:10 p.m. crash on 58th Street near Chester Avenue, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman. He is under police guard and is expected to be criminally charged. Two of the three elderly pedestrians who were hit remain hospitalized at Hahnemann in critical condition too. One, a 79-year-old woman, suffered a fractured leg; the other, an 84-year-old man, sustained head injuries.
TV reports indicated the crash occurred after a police pursuit that initiated in Upper Darby. Upper Darby police, however, say the chase started in Southwest Philadelphia. Little said preliminary reports make no mention of a police pursuit.
The 19-year-old motorist was in a stolen silver 2004 Acura speeding west on Chester Avenue when he blew through a red light and hit a 2007 Hyundai heading north on 58th, Little said. The first car then smashed into a utility pole, ejecting Sephus, Little added. The driver of the second car and a third pedestrian, an 82-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries.
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Officer Little confirmed that the car was stolen in Upper Darby and that the driver first caught police scrutiny at 55th and Kingsessing, where he apparently spotted officers on routine patrol and sped south on 55th Street. The officers ran the license plate, discovered the car had been reported stolen, gave dispatchers a description for broadcast on police radio and gave chase, Little said. The officers briefly lost the vehicle, but other officers who had joined the chase witnessed the wreck, she said. The wreck occurred about a mile from where the motorist first caught police attention. Little hesitated to call it a "pursuit," saying the sequence unfolded in mere minutes.