The purchase of yesterday's

Inquirer

almost turned fatal for an early-morning street hawker and his customer yesterday in North Philadelphia.

According to police, a man was selling the Sunday paper at 29th and Dauphin streets in Strawberry Mansion at 6:30 a.m. when a customer was struck by an out-of-control driver.

The customer, whom police have not identified but believe to be in his 60s, was brought to Temple University Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

"They were standing so close together that the hawker could have been hit, too," Greg Keeley, a street-sales supervisor told the Inquirer.

He said the victim was a regular customer, who often stopped to chat with the hawker for a while after buying the paper.

Keeley said the car, which the hawker identified as a gray Mazda, was speeding south on 29th Street when the accident occurred.

The driver plowed into stacks of newspapers, littering the street, before speeding away.

Sgt. Ray Evers, Philadelphia Police spokesman, said no one has been arrested yet, but police are looking for a silver or gray sedan, which would have severe front-end damage and possibly a flat tire. *