PHILADELPHIA — A street racer crested a hill at 79 miles per hour then struck and killed a woman and her three young sons as they crossed a Philadelphia boulevard at night, prosecution witnesses testified in court Tuesday.
Samara Banks would have reached the median with her boys in a second or two, but she was instead thrown 210 feet by the force of impact, an accident investigator said.
“If the Audi was going 40 to 60 miles per hour …. Ms. Banks and the children would have made it that 6 feet to the curb. The crash wouldn’t have happened,” officer Bill Lackman testified.
The July 16 deaths renewed concerns about the design of Roosevelt Boulevard, which divides a city neighborhood and has been the site of frequent pedestrian accidents, many of them fatal. At times, walkers must also dodge tricked-out cars driving by street racers.
Lead defendant Khusen Akhmedov, 30, said he saw Banks pushing a stroller as he crested a small ridge seconds before the crash, according to his police statement.
Witnesses in two separate cars testified that they saw his silver Audi racing a white Honda from light to light.
The driver of the Honda driver was 30-year-old Ahmen Hollomon.
Prosecutors had also charged Hollomon with third-degree murder, but Municipal Judge James DeLeon dismissed that charge. The judge found that Hollomon had safely brought his car to a stop after the hill, suggesting he was no longer racing. Lawyer Lonny Fish said his client was preparing to turn off of the boulevard.
Hollomon was nonetheless held for trial on reckless endangerment, DUI and DUI-homicide. Blood tests showed marijuana in his system, although he had passed a field sobriety test.