A two-year-old boy was hit and killed by a SEPTA trolley Thursday in an accident that left witnesses and rescuers distraught.
“We were all standing there but we couldn’t do anything,” said Antoine Gardiner who runs a business in the West Philly neighborhood near 51st and Lancaster Avenue, where the accident happened. “The mother was chasing behind the trolley, screaming and trying to get it to stop. It was horrible.”
The mother and another woman were crossing the street around 1 p.m. with the little boy. Somehow, he broke loose from one woman and may have been running toward the other when he was struck by the trolley, Gardiner said.
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“So the mom was running after the trolley and then people on the trolley were screaming to the driver, ‘Stop! You hit a kid!’”
When the trolley came to a stop about a block away, Gardiner said he and other witnesses ran to see if they could help, but the boy was pinned underneath the trolley “and there was nothing we could do and then the rescuers they tried to lift the trolley up, but couldn’t. Nobody could do anything and then at one point we just had to walk away because we didn’t want to see it anymore.”
Paramedics arrived five minutes after the 911 call and determined the child was dead. Firefighters eventually were able to lift the trolley to recover the boy’s body. His family, who moved into the neighborhood recently, according to Gardiner, was led away by police.