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New Year Ushered In With Deadly Hit-Run on City Avenue Near Presidential Blvd.

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By Jim Melwert, Jericka Duncan and Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s first homicide happened shortly after midnight this New Year’s Day. It was just one of many incidents keeping police busy this morning.

By night, police continued to ask for the public’s help identifying a hit and run driver.

It happened at about 2:45 Tuesday morning as the victim was crossing the northbound lanes of City Avenue, near Presidential Boulevard.

The victim, police later identified as 50-year-old Patrick Coyle, lived and worked at the Presidential City Apartments.

The victim’s family wants answers.

Steve Krystopa says he worked with his cousin, Coyle, on New Year’s Eve only to learn on New Year’s Day, Coyle fell victim to a hit and run driver over night.

Krystopa said, “You want to feel anger but you also want to be sad at the same time and you’re all in shock.”

According to police, the driver was traveling northbound on City Avenue when Coyle was hit and the driver kept going. We are told, two eyewitnesses including a medical student did stop and came to Coyle’s aid but the injuries were so severe, Coyle was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was loved by everybody even friends, everybody. So everybody’s devastated by this accident,” Krystopa explained.

With 8 brothers and sisters, Coyle comes from a large family who runs Coyle’s Café on Ridge Avenue. But Coyle made a living as a maintenance technician at the Presidential City Apartments and by all accounts, was a loving and caring individual who always had a smile on his face.

Eileen Bassi, a relative, pleaded with the driver to come forward, “Just come and do the right thing to do, what God would want you to do.”

Krystopa added, “We just want to know what happened and he has a little son at home and he has another son and for the family to just to get closure would just make us feel better.”

The car that hit him, police say, is a silver sedan, possibly a Nissan, last seen heading onto the ramp that goes towards the Schuylkill Expressway, Lincoln Drive, and the Roxborough-Manayunk area.

Meanwhile, police are investigating two additional crashes they say are alcohol related, one a single-car crash on Henry Avenue around 12:30am. In the other, at Mascher and Tabor around 1:30am, five people were injured — one of them critically — when a car crashed into a pole.

There are also at least three homicides so far in this New Year, all shootings. Two of them involved teenagers — one in the Cobb’s Creek section of the city, the other in Nicetown.

Police were also investigating two crashes they say are alcohol related, one a single-car crash on Henry Avenue around 12:30am.  In the other, at Mascher and Tabor around 1:30am, five people were injured — one of them critically — when a car crashed into a pole.

There are also at least three homicides so far in this New Year, all shootings.   Two of them involved teenagers — one in the Cobb’s Creek section of the city, the other in Nicetown.

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