Casai West squeezed his mother's hand on Sunday. For now, it's a small but hopeful sign of progress for the 5-year-old boy after a hit-and-run accident left him in critical condition.
Philadelphia Police say a mid-2000s silver Cadillac was traveling southbound on 59th Street and approaching Cedar Avenue in Cobbs Creek around 6:45 p.m on Saturday. Suddenly, police say, the Cadillac went through an intersection on a green light and struck West, who was riding a bicycle eastbound on Cedar.
West rolled off the hood and onto the street while the Cadillac drove off southbound on 59th Street.
"All I heard was a boom," said Cynthia Hobbs who was in the area at the time of the crash. "The car hit him, backed up, cut another lady off, went around and then sped off."
West was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where he remained in critical condition after suffering head trauma. West's mother, Cassandra Williams, says the boy wasn't wearing a helmet.
"He has a concussion," Williams said. "Fluid on the brain."
The alleged hit-and-run driver is described as a male in his early 20s with braided hair. Police also say the suspect's vehicle has a PA license plate.
As she continues to pray for her son's recovery, Williams also has a message for the driver.
"Turn yourself in," she said. "He's just five."
The incident was one of two hit-and-run crashes Saturday that left a child hurt. A 9-year-old girl was struck by an SUV in South Philadelphia around 8 p.m. Investigators say the driver in that incident took the girl to the hospital before driving off.
A 5-year-old boy was also struck by a minivan Saturday night in the city's Germantown neighborhood. The driver in that incident remained on the scene.