By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police have identified the 11-year-old girl killed in a car accident in South Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.
Samantha Nguyen-Ortanez of Sicklerville, New Jersey was walking with her stepmother and 2-year-old stepbrother out of Captain Jesse’s Seafood in the 1100 block of South 8th Street a little after noon when they were all struck by a 2003 Nissan SUV (see related story).Authorities say 28-year-old Max Drosi from Miami, Florida was operating a Chevrolet Impala while under the influence and ran a red light at the intersection of 8th Street and Washington. He struck the SUV which in turn lost control and collided into the three pedestrians before slamming into the entrance of Captain Jesse’s Seafood.
Nguyen-Ortanzez was pronounced dead at the scene. Her stepmother and stepbrother were rushed to Jefferson University Hospital.
“The family was enjoying a Sunday afternoon shopping and they lost a young lady as a result of someone else’s negligence,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan.
The driver of the SUV was taken to Hahnemann Hospital with a shoulder injury. Authorities say a 46-year-old male employee of the store was also struck by the SUV and was taken to Jefferson University Hospital in stable condition.
On Monday, the Nguyen family gathered to remember little Samantha, a girl they say who had a bright smile and a big heart.
“How could anybody explain this to us as parents, losing a little girl,” said Andrew Nguyen, in tears. “It’s just so heartbreaking. My whole family is devastated.”
Drosi, who was not injured in the crash, was arrested Sunday and is charged with homicide, homicide while driving under the influence, four counts of aggravated assault while driving under the influence and reckless endangerment.