NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Police say a driver slammed into a car killing an 8-year-old inside in Northeast Philadelphia. The driver took off but police tracked him down soon after the deadly crash, according to investigators.
Authorities say 34-year-old Michael Finn was arrested and charged with the auto-accident involving death, homicide by vehicle, accident-death-no license, and involuntary manslaughter.
Jennette Agosto was fighting back tears as she described her efforts to comfort an 8-year-old boy after a horrific crash at Whitaker and Herkness Wednesday afternoon that cost the young boy his life.
"I was trying to talk to the little boy. I was telling him to hold on," Agosto told FOX 29 just after the crash. "Very sad, sad. Five days and it's Christmas."
Accident investigators say the crash occurred just before 2 p.m. as the little boy and his father were driving down Whitaker Street. As they turned, their car was broad-sided by a late model Honda Odessey van that kept on going, according to investigators. Police say the driver of the van was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic before the crash.
"The van, I think it was, just came and hit the side of where the little boy was actually at," Agosto explained.
Police tell FOX 29 three people in a second car stopped; two got out to assist the victims while the driver followed the fleeing vehicle and called police. The fleeing driver was stopped by police at Van Kirk and Frontenac where he was taken into custody, according to police.
Back at the scene, police were crediting Agosto and a soldier home on leave after both tried to help the 8-year-old and his father until medics arrived. Agusto learned the child died minutes later at the hospital.
The little boy's 28-year-old father was hospitalized with injuries. The 34-year-old driver was taken into custody. No charges have been filed at this point and no identifications have been made by authorities. Police did take a blood sample from the driver to determine if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash. Police say the driver claims he had a diabetic incident.
A high ranking police source tells FOX 29 the driver of the van has a suspended license and 50 prior tickets.