There might not have been a happier man in the city on Father's Day than Howard Williams.
The 81-year-old went out to breakfast with his four daughters, then spent the rest of his day opening presents and laughing with his numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"The day was going so good," said his granddaughter, Kelly Williams. "He kept showing off a pair of shoes that one of his friends brought him from Mexico. He was so happy."
About 9 that night, Williams went to Broad and Olney to wait for a SEPTA bus. He wanted to visit a few more relatives in North Philly before drawing a perfect Father's Day to a close, his granddaughter said.
But police said a cruel twist of fate arrived a few minutes later in the form of a gold-colored Chevrolet sedan, which slammed into Williams when he stepped off a curb to see if his bus was nearby.
Relatives said the sedan dragged Williams for a block. The motorist sped off and left the beloved patriarch in a bloodied heap on the ground.
Williams, of 17th Street near 67th in West Oak Lane, is listed in critical condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center with numerous broken ribs and internal bleeding.
Kelly Williams said doctors had to remove her grandfather's spleen on Monday, and also reattached his right ear, which was torn off during the violent accident.
"It's not looking too good. He's on a breathing machine," she said.
"He's a happy person who gets along well with everybody. He doesn't deserve this."
Detectives from the police Accident Investigation Division seized a "vehicle of interest" earlier today that was found on Fisher Avenue near Broad Street.
The vehicle was still being processed tonight. An investigator said no arrest warrants have been issued.
Tipsters can contact AID at 215-685-3180.
Williams said her grandfather is an active, outgoing man who frequently takes buses to visit his family, which includes 21 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. "He loves to dance. If there's a party, he's there," she said.