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
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)

(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.

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Jul 19, 2013 11:48 AM CDT
Did that car come from around a curve or something because you would think she would see a speeding car on a straightaway. Nevertheless, it is a horrifying tragedy. Poor little babies and mother, I hope they didn't suffer. May their souls be at peace.
Jul 19, 2013 11:41 AM CDT
I live in Philadelphia Pennsylvania about 20 minutes from Roosevelt Blvd. For anyone who is not familiar with Roosevelt Blvd., it is dangerous and the speed limit is set at 45 miles, but this is "city", stop lights about every 2 to 3 blocks, so I have no idea why the speed limit is set so high. Also, there are restaurants, shopping centers, 2 roller skating rinks, a bowling alley, motels and has blocks of family homes. It is always busy with drivers, people catching mass transit and people trying to walk across the multi-lane highway. The problem is the 45 mile per hour speed limit and this strip has been (back in the day) a highway known for racing. The speed limit on Roosevelt Blvd should be reduced to 35 miles per hour.
Jul 18, 2013 5:48 PM CDT