PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Police Department identified a suspect driver wanted in connection withlast month. Three people were injured in the accident, including a 5-year-old girl who remains in the hospital.
The young girl’s family says she is still in the hospital with many serious injuries. Her family organized a prayer circle for her outside their home in West Philly on Monday afternoon.
Now, for the first time, the police have identified the alleged driver who was hit.
Police say Andre Shuford, 53, is the man they suspect as a van driver in an accident that occurred on 56th Street and Vine Streets on September 2.
Officers say Shuford wasbefore the crash in which four people were injured, including 5-year-old Divinity McFarland.
“She had severe brain damage,” Divinity’s Aunt Elsie Johnson said, “and has been unable to wake up since then.”
Johnson says her niece was hit with such force in the crash that she initially fell into a coma.
“It’s starting to open your eyes today,” Johnson said. “Her one eye opens and she can look around. So we talk to her to reassure her that we are there, so that she will know we’re there.”
But the young girl still can’t speak.
Kathy Selli is her grandmother.
“It’s really sad that we sit in the hospital every day,” said Selli, “and that we see her and she hurts so much and there’s nothing we can do to help her.”
Shaheed Richburg, 43, was also hit in the crash. He still can’t walk on his own.
“Everything just changed. Snap, just like that, ”Richburg said.
Richburg spoke on Monday from his home, just hours after he was released from the hospital. The 43-year-old had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair broken bones and internal bleeding from an impact.
“At least 10 months to a year when I won’t be able to walk,” he said.
Richburg had just picked up the four kids from kindergarten and was crossing the street when he noticed a speeding car heading straight towards them.
“Move the cart away from the truck,” said Richburg, “but my little niece and I were hit because she was holding the cart, so I guess when I did that she must have let it go.” so that me and she were hit.
Two other children, who were also injured in the incident, are at home and are doing well.
Police say there has been an active Shuford arrest warrant which is believed to be known in parts of North Philadelphia and Kensington.
“Give up,” Johnson said. – For a month now you have been going every day while my little one cannot do the same, you are in the hospital for a month doing nothing. And it’s not fair. Someone knows where he is. Please spend it.
“Give up, man,” Richburg said. “That’s all I want for the sake of my niece, go ahead and become a buddy.”
Another child injured as a result of the hit was discharged from the hospital.
The police call anyone with information about the suspected driver’s whereabouts to call 911.
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