As Ervin Cardoza and his mother walked to the corner of 11th and Market Streets around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, they saw the typical signs of a car crash: swirling police lights, yellow caution tape, witnesses lingering at the scene.
Then they noticed a white Adidas sneaker in the middle of the road.
It looked like one that belonged to Cardoza's 22-year-old sister, Catherine, an aspiring artist working two jobs to save up enough money for college. She had been walking to meet him and their mother at 12th and Filbert Streets for a ride back to their Oxford Circle home that night. She hadn't shown up.
Ervin and his mother, Teresa, kept calling Catherine's cellphone, trying again and again, praying as they stopped on Market that the shoe wasn't hers.
Finally, someone picked up: a nurse in the emergency room at Hahnemann University Hospital.
Catherine had just been brought in. The nurse didn't say what happened.
She didn't have to.
"My mother was hysterical," Ervin Cardoza recalled Wednesday. "It was just the worst thing ever. We were so close [to the scene], and yet we didn't see it - and we didn't see her - and it happened."
"It" was a violent collision between a man driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck on Market and two pedestrians: Catherine Cardoza and a friend identified by police as Anna Gonzalez, 27, of the 700 block of West Roosevelt Boulevard.
Ervin Cardoza said Wednesday that his sister remained in critical condition, unable to open her eyes and suffering from a litany of injuries, including a blood clot in her head.
Gonzalez died at Hahnemann University Hospital on Tuesday morning, police said. She had three children, according to Ervin.
Police have not said whether the 45-year-old driver - whom they have not identified - was intoxicated or distracted, or if he ran the red light. They also have not said whether he will be charged, classifying the investigation as ongoing.
Cardoza and Gonzalez were hit in the crosswalk, police said. Through June, according to police statistics, at least 17 other people were killed this year in accidents involving cars and pedestrians.
Ervin Cardoza, 31, said his sister and Gonzalez were leaving the Lucky Strike bowling alley at 1336 Chestnut St. to meet him and his mother, who had been in Center City to watch a UFC fight. Both Gonzalez and Catherine Cardoza worked at Lucky Strike, Ervin said, though Catherine was just hanging out there that night while Gonzalez worked the closing shift.
Lucky Strike was one of two jobs Catherine held, according to her brother, the other at Barra Rossa, 929 Walnut St. She earned her associate's degree this spring from Community College of Philadelphia and was saving up to attend the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland starting in January, he said.
She loves art of all kinds, he said, painting, drawing, sculpting. She made him a coffee cup that he drinks from at work, and there are vases she crafted and paintings of hers filling the family's home in Oxford Circle. She had already packed up some pieces to take to the West Coast as part of her portfolio.
"She started from a baby, she used to doodle," Ervin said. "Whatever kind of craft she wanted to do, my mother was always supportive of it."
He and his parents, who emigrated from Nicaragua in the 1980s, have been in the hospital every day since the accident. Ervin said he has been frustrated by the lack of information from police, who have not reached out to him, his mother, or his father, even though they gave contact information to officers at the scene.
"There's been no followup, at least to our family," he said. "And I think that's really strange."
Still, he said, Catherine's friends and coworkers have been incredibly supportive, already surpassing their $1,000 goal on a GoFundMe page, and planning a future fund-raiser at one of Catherine's favorite bars.
Doctors can't say yet what the long-term medical effects will be, and the Cardozas know whatever the effects, she has a long road ahead.
Ervin was devastated that Gonzalez had died in the crash, and living in a hospital for his sister has been difficult.
Through the pain, he is trying to stay upbeat for his sister.
"We really just want her to get better every day," he said.