A 37-year-old mother died and her 3-year-old son was fighting for his life after they were both struck by a hit-and-run driver in Philadelphia over the weekend.
Rebecca “Becky” Malave and her son Armani Negron, were walking about two blocks away from their home on West Luzerne Street near Rising Sun Avenue Sunday around 8 p.m. when they were struck by a vehicle that fled the scene.
Malave was initially put on life support, but her sister told NBC10 Friday that she had since died. Meanwhile, the child remained in critical condition.
Family members told NBC10 a motorcyclist scooped Armani up and took him to Temple University Hospital. Now loved ones are searching for the driver who struck the boy and his mother, as well as the motorcyclist who saved the child's life after the crash.
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“He literally saved my nephew’s life,” Lorraine Graulau, Malave’s sister and Armani’s aunt, told NBC10. “I don’t know how. My nephew is a good 65, 70 pounds and he was able to carry this baby on a motorcycle and drive him all the way to Temple.”
Other witnesses, including Nigel Brown, jumped into action as well.
“Everybody jumped on their phone trying to get through to 911,” Brown said. “None of us could get through. Just trying to think out of the box, we ran up the street to the fire station and banging on the door to the fire department, letting them know there was a lady down.”
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Malave died at Temple University Hospital. Armani was later transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital and remains in the ICU.
“They had to remove part of his skull because there’s so much pressure on the brain,” Graulau said.
Philadelphia police say they don’t have any surveillance footage nor any debris from the hit-and-run vehicle. They are hoping witnesses can help provide a lead.
“Somebody might have driven by and saw a vehicle stopped with their flashers on or something,” Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Overwise said. “We just need any little bit of information to give us that kick start.”
Family members not only want to find the hit-and-run driver but also the motorcyclist who took Armani to the hospital.
“If you were the one who picked up my nephew, please just reach out to one of us,” Homi Malave, the brother and uncle of the victims, told NBC10. “We would love to talk to you. We would like to thank you for picking him up.”
In addition to Armani, Rebecca Malave also has a 1-year-old daughter.
"She’s a mom. She has two kids,” Graulau said while in tears.
Loved ones are mourning the mother and hoping the son will pull through as they continue to deal with the unsolved murder of the boy’s father late last year.
“My sister just lost her kids’ father in November of last year, so they’re already still grieving,” Graulau said. “So you’re gonna leave these children with no parents?”
Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is asked to call 911, Philadelphia Police at 215-685-3180 or Graulau at 215-205-5583. The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information.