A disabled minivan and distracted driving led to a high-speed crash that claimed the life of one man and injured three other people, including twin 2-year-old girls, on Woodhaven Road on Feb. 21, Philadelphia police said.
The accident happened just before 1 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the expressway and involved three vehicles. A short time earlier, a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country minivan broke down in the left lane and became stranded there. The front seat passenger, 27-year-old Dennis Alexander, exited the van and went to the front of the vehicle to inspect the engine compartment.
Meanwhile, a 2015 Honda Accord was traveling westbound in the left lane. The driver, a 30-year-old man, later told police that he became distracted by something in his car. When his eyes returned to the road, he spotted the minivan obstructing his path.
He tried to swerve into the center lane to avoid the disabled van, but the center lane was also occupied. The Honda collided with a 2010 Subaru Impreza, then ricocheted into the rear of the Chrysler, which lurched forward and struck Alexander, who was pouring coolant into the van’s radiator.
Alexander, of the 3300 block of Rand St. in Kensington, tumbled to the asphalt, suffered head trauma and was unconscious when police arrived. He was hospitalized in critical condition and died shortly after 11 a.m. on Feb. 22.
Three others were inside the Chrysler at the time. The driver, a 28-year-old woman, complained of neck and back pain and was taken to Aria-Jefferson Health’s Torresdale campus. Twin girls, age 2, were sitting in child safety seats. One girl suffered head trauma and lost consciousness. Her sister may have broken a leg. Both were taken to Aria-Torresdale in serious condition, and then transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
The driver of the Subaru, a 48-year-old man, was alone and did not complain of injuries. The driver of the Honda may have broken his hip and leg. He was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash. ••