Woman hit by police car in Kensington ID'd

A woman was hit by a police cruiser Tuesday along a pathway in McPherson Square in Kensington.

A woman who was critically injured by a police car in a Kensington park earlier this week was identified Friday by a close friend as Michelle Kolk, 40.

Denise Dietrich, a sister of Kolk's boyfriend, said Kolk has been in extremely critical condition at Temple University Hospital.

Kolk, previously of Bucks County, lives with her boyfriend in Northeast Philadelphia, Dietrich said. She is the mother of two daughters, one 7 months old and another who is 7 years old.

Michelle Kolk.

Dietrich, 49, of Fox Chase, said police came to her house Tuesday evening. They did not know Kolk's identity at that point, but found Dietrich's address on an item in Kolk's purse.

At Temple University Hospital, Dietrich said, two surgeons told her that Kolk had a broken pelvis, two broken hips, broken ribs, a large cut across her face, that her ear needed to be reattached and that it took 15 minutes to revive her heart.

Kolk has been unconscious and on life support, Dietrich said. She said she had to call Kolk's immediate family, who live out of state, and tell them the heartbreaking news. Kolk's family members have come to Philadelphia, but could not be reached for comment Friday.

Police have said that about 4:25 p.m. Tuesday, two police officers were in a cruiser on a path for pedestrians and authorized vehicles in McPherson Square, on the 3000 block of F Street, while conducting an investigation, when the driver of the cruiser reversed and struck a woman.

Police spokesman Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said Friday that the investigation into the crash remains ongoing with the police Accident Investigation District. He said he had no new updates.

The two male officers with the 24th District remain on full duty, but the one who was driving, a 17-year veteran, has been placed on non-driving status at his commander’s discretion, Kinebrew said.

After the car struck the woman, the two officers placed the victim — who appeared unconscious in witness videos obtained by 6ABC — into their police car and rushed her to Temple University Hospital, where she was in extremely critical condition, Kinebrew said.

Kinebrew has said the woman was "absolutely an innocent bystander" and was not part of the police investigation in the park. He declined to say what the officers were investigating. 

Dietrich said she didn't know what Kolk was doing in McPherson Square. She said she went to the park on Thursday and spoke to people there, who told her they saw Kolk -- who was not a regular in the park -- sitting on a bench helping a young woman whom she didn't know and who was sick.

"Michelle has a big heart," Dietrich said.

Regarding the officers' actions, Dietrich said she heard the police car was parked before the driver reversed. 

"I back out of the driveway every day," she said. "You look before you back up. It’s just reflex. What was this guy thinking?"