A young girl was killed in what police are calling a DUI crash. Four other people were injured in the two-car crash near the Italian Market.
It happened Sunday around 12:30 p.m. at 8th Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia.
Police say Max Drosi, 28 of Miami, Fla. was driving his 2012 Chevy Impala when he ran a red light at the intersection and T-boned an SUV. The collision caused a 2003 Nissan SUV to careen into a nearby seafood restaurant, pinning 11-year-old Samantha Nguyen-Ortanez between the vehicle and the storefront, according to investigators.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
“I was shook up, just trying to get things back together,” said Jesse Giordano, the owner of Captain Jesse’s seafood and a witness of the accident. “One minute you’re doing business the next minute all this. It’s insane, I can’t believe it happened.”
Nguyen-Ortanez, who is from Sickelerville, N.J. died from her injuries while her stepmother, 3-year-old brother, the female driver of the SUV and an employee of the seafood restaurant were all taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Both Giordano and police believe the young girl was walking with her family at the time of the crash.
“The family was enjoying a Sunday afternoon shopping and they lost a young lady as a result of someone else’s negligence,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan.
Police believe Drosi was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. They also say he was looking down at his GPS during the time of the crash and that speed was not a factor. The female driver of the SUV was not at fault and was obeying traffic laws during the time of the wreck, according to investigators.
“The issue was that the [[male]] driver became distracted and went through the red light,” said Sullivan. “Also the issue, we do believe, is that he was under the influence of some substance.”
Drosi was charged with homicide by vehicle, DUI and related offenses.
On MOnday local residents left flowers at a makeshift memorial for the young girl.
"You feel so terrible for the family," said Giordano. "One minute you have a family, next minute you don't."
A vigil for Samantha took place Monday night at 6.
Fan, follow and download: Get the latest from NBC10.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, our mobile site and NBC Philadelphia. Sign up for our breaking news newsletter. And, get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text PHIBREAKING to 639710 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)