Chad Grey’s girlfriend was wrapping presents, and his niece and nephews were preparing for his surprise birthday party, when they heard the news.
Grey was killed in a high-speed crash Tuesday, his 35th birthday.
On Wednesday, friends, relatives and residents of the Overbrook Park neighborhood where the crash occurred were trying to process the shock, and thinking hard about what should be done next.
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“He loved cars,” Grey’s girlfriend told NBC10. “He was a mechanic, he was going to school to be an auto mechanic. He worked on all his cars himself.”
Police say the 7-car crash that took Grey’s life happened at 2 p.m. Tuesday. A Ford and a Honda collided at high speeds along Haverford Avenue, sending the Honda into several parked cars.
Neighbors rushed to help pull kids from the Ford. Six people, including a 5-year-old boy, were hospitalized as a result of the crash, according to police. But afterward, neighbors said it wasn’t the first crash that had happened in the area.
Rob, a neighborhood resident, told NBC10 that he heard the noise of the cars and worried there would be an accident.
“This was the worst one I’ve ever seen on this block,” Rob said.
The speed limit on Haverford is 30 mph, but rarely obeyed. Rob said neighbors want to band together and get speed bumps for the road.
For now on Wednesday, they joined with Grey’s relatives and friends lighting candles, and saying a few words to remember him. A memorial at the crash site included several Happy Birthday balloons.
"I've watched the clip a million times and it's horrifying to see," said Tahj Charlton, Grey's nephew. "But I'm glad so many people came out to help him. People not in the accident tried to help and save him."
Grey is survived by his girlfriend, niece, nephews and three children.
Police say the driver of the Ford was interviewed alongside her parents. Her identity is not being released because she is younger than 18, and no charges were filed as of Wednesday night.
NBC10's Joe Brandt contributed to this report.