A driver and two people on the sidewalk died when a speeding SUV slammed into the base of a SEPTA Market-Frankford Line elevated station early Tuesday morning.
The deadly wreck just before 2:45 a.m. cracked part of the wall of SEPTA's Allegheny Station in the heart of the Kensington neighborhood and caused SEPTA to bypass the busy station heading into the morning commute.
A Philadelphia police officer on patrol in the area "saw and heard a vehicle traveling eastbound on Allegheny Avenue," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "The vehicle was obviously travelling at a very, very high rate of speed, according to this officer."
The SUV then hopped the curb, struck a turnstile and crashed into the building, "doing severe damage" and causing "a large crack in the station," Small said.
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The SUV was badly damaged and partially caught fire.
Along the way, at least three people on the sidewalk were struck, Small said. Two of those people -- a man and a woman -- died, one of them decapitated.
When medics approached the crashed SUV, the driver was dead, Small said.
None of the three dead were immediately identified.
A third pedestrian was rushed from the scene with serious injuries and was listed in stable condition at the hospital, Small said.
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The crash caused a large crack -- at least several feet long -- up the wall of the el station and tore the metal turnstile off its base. The station was able to reopen before noon Tuesday after an inspection, however the damaged exit remains closed.
The entire crash was caught on police surveillance cameras, Small said.
The full investigation and cleanup continued Tuesday afternoon.
The crash took place at an intersection where people, some of them vulnerable, normally gather.
"It was crazy, it was going like 90 to 100 mph," a man who witnessed the crash said. "Luckily, it was late at night."