A 4-year-old Tacony boy had just gotten ice cream with his father from a double-parked ice cream truck Sunday night when a car veered around the truck, struck the boy, and drove off, Philadelphia police said.
The collision in the 6600 block of Keystone Street just before 9:30 p.m. left Christopher Currid in critical condition with severe head trauma, said Police Capt. Mark Overwise, who on Monday asked for the public’s help in finding the driver of the silver car that struck the child.
Christopher’s father, Bobby, picked him up and ran to a nearby fire station, and from there the boy was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Overwise said at an afternoon news conference at the Accident Investigation District headquarters.
“I would just say that he and his family need your prayers,” he said of Christopher.
The accident is part of a trend of fatal auto crashes this year, and the Police Department is not sure what is fueling it, Overwise said. So far this year, he said, there have been 75 fatal accidents, compared with 85 fatal during all of last year. Those numbers do not included crashes on interstate highways, which are patrolled by state police, he said.
As it often does, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 is offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead to the capture of the driver, who will face felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, Overwise said.
“When you hit something or someone, you have a responsibility to stop and render aid, and that’s what this driver failed to do, obviously. He kept on going, and for that there’s going to be trouble,” he said.
No parts of the car were left behind at the scene, and police are not sure of the make or model of the silver car. The department released a blurry black-and-white image of the car that they believe struck the boy. Overwise noted that it’s not always a crime when a car strikes a person, “but when you leave [the scene], it is a crime. You have to keep that in mind.”
On Monday afternoon, while Christopher’s parents were with him at the hospital, his extended family gathered on the porch of the family’s home, within sight of the crash site. They said his brain had swelled and suffered bleeding.
“They said he was moving his arm and moving his leg, but they don’t know much else,” said Stephanie Sweet, a cousin of Christopher’s father. Christopher’s brothers, Bobby, 10, and Michael, 5, were among those gathered — cousins, aunts and friends. The brothers have not been able to visit him because of his condition.
“I know his dad is a mess and trying to keep it together,” Sweet said.
To the hit-and-run- driver, she said: “Turn yourself in. Why would you run? You hit a kid. There was an ice cream truck right there. Why speed around a truck? Why blow a stop sign?”