Mom and Her 3 Boys Killed Crossing Philly Street

Police believe they were hit by man who was drag racing

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 18, 2013 7:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tragedy in Philadelphia, where a mother and her four sons were hit while crossing the street Tuesday night; all but one of the boys died. Two things make the story even worse: Police believe they were hit by two men who were drag racing. Khusen Akhmedov and Ahmen Holloman were arrested yesterday; Fox Philadelphia reports Akhmedov is the one thought to have hit the group. And the second: Samara Banks, who was returning home from a visit at her grandmother's house, chose not to cross at the crosswalk as she normally did in an effort to avoid a neighbor who unnerved her boys.

The Philadelphia Daily News spoke with relatives who said Banks was trying to keep her boys away from a mentally unstable neighbor who scared them and lives along the route they typically took. It was a decision that proved fatal for the 28-year-old, her 9- and 23-month-old sons, and her 4-year-old; a 5-year-old has survived. The family crossed a section of Roosevelt Boulevard that lacked a traffic light or painted crosswalk; but a sidewalk that cuts through the traffic island establishes it as an unmarked crosswalk, and a PennDot rep tells the Inquirer it is legal to cross there. According to a 2001 study, the road has the No. 2 and No. 3 most dangerous intersections in America.

A makeshift memorial is shown near the location where a mother and three young sons were struck and killed while trying to cross a busy highway after dark.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Family members react as they watch investigators at the scene of a fatal accident on Roosevelt Boulevard in the Olney section of Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
A police officer stands by a sheet covering the remains of a young child and a baby stroller at the scene of a fatal accident on Roosevelt Boulevard in the Olney section of Philadelphia on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
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