A 17-year-old has surrendered in Tuesday's hit-and-run accident in Francisville that left a 3-year-old girl with a fractured skull, a partially severed ear and other life-threatening injuries.
The teen, whom police did not identify, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury, a third-degree felony, police said.
The injured child, Aniya Poplar, remained in critical condition yesterday at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. Her mother, Ikea Poplar, breathed a sigh of relief yesterday upon hearing the news.
"I'm feeling good about this," Poplar said.
"With these hit-and-run accidents, you never know, some people never find out who hurt or killed their loved ones," she added.
"I'm glad that he came forward."
Poplar said that her daughter, who a hospital representative confirmed was still in critical condition yesterday afternoon, was doing better.
"They told me that she is expected to make a full recovery," Poplar said. "It's going to take a while, but she'll get there."
Police recovered the teen's burgundy 1986 Crown Victoria on Lambert Street near Susquehanna Avenue in North Philadelphia. The accident happened on Swain Street near 15th.
The boy had a high-profile escort on his way to the police station - state Rep. Jewell Williams, D-East Falls.
Williams has a relative who knows the boy's family and called the lawmaker for help, Williams said.
"The young man is a good student at a local high school, never been arrested, never been in trouble," Williams said. "He said he was very sorry. He said he shouldn't have left but that he just panicked."
The boy told Williams that little Aniya, apparently chasing a ball, darted into the side of his sedan as he was driving past her. Williams said he believed the teen was on his way to or from the Gallery mall in Center City when the accident occurred.
"He was very humble and very nervous and scared," Williams said of the teen's demeanor upon turning himself in. "He's a good kid who did a dumb thing [fleeing]. But it was an accident."
While Poplar was still upset over what happened to her daughter, she said yesterday's developments were a step toward moving on from this nightmare.