Out-of-control driver damages multiple cars in South Philly

- People in South Philadelphia are in disbelief after a driver rolls through more than a dozen parked cars, leaving behind a mountain of damage.

The driver is in custody, all thanks to several people who jumped into action.

A blue pickup truck, engine revved, went barreling down South Third Street late Friday, February 23, slamming into one car after the next. A neighbor looked outside, grabbed her cell phone and started recording.

“It was something like a monster truck going over, one side of his truck going over every parked car,” said one neighbor.

At the end of the block, the corner of Third and Porter, the pickup, after one final collision, may have stalled and neighbor Mike Magee caught up to it.

“I opened the driver’s side door and dragged him out of the car,” Magee said.

Two other men then assisted. The driver has been identified by police as 43-year-old James Keyser.

“He resisted a little bit. We were able to get him down to the ground and secure him till the police came,” Magee explained.

15 cars were hit. Some were sideswiped, some were pushed onto the sidewalk. Others are potentially totaled. Side-view mirror after mirror ripped off. Debris everywhere.

“Heard the first hit. And, it was, actually, my car that was hit,” neighbor Zack Laska said. 

Laska ran to the corner and helped restrain the driver. 

“He just kept saying ‘Let me go, let me go.’ We weren’t letting go. He definitely seemed to be out of it. In shock or under the influence of some sort,” Laska explained. 

Police say Keyser was arrested for DUI and hospitalized. He lives just blocks away. Two people who came to the door of his home said he was okay, but declined to comment further.

A scary couple of minutes. Neighbors, like Brian, finding his car damaged on the sidewalk. But, he’s actually relieved.

“I’m happy that nobody got hurt,” said neighbor Brian.

Or worse.

“Absolutely could have killed somebody. There’s kids out here playing an hour earlier. All the kids went in, it just turned 10 p.m. Thank God nobody was hurt. Especially thank God nobody got killed. It could have very easily been a very bad situation,” said Laska said.
 

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