Woman Saves Grandson Before Being Killed in Hit-and-Run

A West Philadelphia grandmother saved her 3-year-old grandson from a hit and run driver Friday night. The woman threw her grandson out of the path of a van before she was struck and killed. NBC10 Reporter Drew Smith spoke with her son-in-law and friend about the woman's bond with her grandchildren. (Published Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017)

Friends and family are mourning a woman who saved her grandson’s life before she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in West Philadelphia Friday night.

Catherine Brown, 48, was walking across 57th and Girard Avenue around 8 p.m. with her grandchildren, including her 3-year-old grandson, after celebrating his birthday. As she was walking and holding her grandson in her arms, a white minivan drove towards her. Witnesses say Brown threw her grandson out of the path of the approaching vehicle. She was then struck by the minivan and dragged southbound on 57th Street and then west onto Poplar for about 40 feet before she finally fell off. Police say the driver continued westbound on 58th Street as Brown lay on the ground.

Brown was taken to Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 9:06 p.m. Her 3-year-old grandson suffered a broken leg. He was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he is currently in stable condition.

“It’s horrible because they saw what happened to their grandmother,” said Miyetta Hardy, a witness. “She’s a hero also. That’s a grandmother’s love.”

Family members say aside from the 3-year-old boy, Brown had eleven other grandchildren.

“If she wasn’t working she was with her grandkids,” said Brown’s son-in-law Raymond Dugan. “That’s her life right there.”

Now those who knew her and loved her are demanding justice.

“You have to know, you can see the skid marks, you had to either feel it or heard it underneath your car,” said Marvin Robinson, a block captain. “I’m pleading to the person. Just turn yourself in.”

Investigators say the white minivan is a newer model and should have front end damage. If you have any information on the crash, please call Philadelphia Police.

A surveillance photo of the hit-and-run vehicle, a white minivan.