Reporting Jim Melwert
By Jim Melwert, Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The two men facing charges for the horrific crash on the Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday night that killed a mother and her three young sons are being held on $2.5 million bail each.
Police allege the men were drag racing when the crash occurred. (See Related Story)
The two suspects have been identified as 23-year-old Khusen Akhmedov and 30-year-old Ahmen Holloman.
Federal records show that Akhmedov was an ambulance driver who was out on bail on Medicare fraud charges, according to an April indictment. Police say he also had eight prior speeding tickets.
Police say Holloman also had three prior moving violations.
Police allege they were drag racing. Holloman was driving a 1994 Honda and Akhmedov was operating the 2012 Audi that slammed into Samara Banks and her four young sons, killing her and three of the boys, and leaving another little boy wounded. Investigators say nine witnesses told police Akhmedov’s Audi was drag racing.
Both men are facing several charges, including four counts each of 3rd degree murder, and involuntary manslaughter.
Police also say Akhmedov’s driving record shows a history of citations and violations. He’d lost his license and just got it back last year.
“If it’s just one red light, it may not go to murder. But if you’re doing something that’s reckless and sustained — for example, these two stop at three separate lights and then raced. Stopped, raced. So that sustained recklessness is how it got to murder,” Accident Investigation Division Captain John Wilczynski.
Wilczynski says police believe the drag race was spontaneous. He says they’re still trying to determine whether the two men knew each other.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey says police patrol the Boulevard as much as they can, but this is also a reminder to pedestrians to take extra precautions while crossing the 12-lanes of the busy street.
“We have a lot of enforcement along Roosevelt Boulevard, but you have people who just drive too damn fast on that street. And you can’t stop them all,” Ramsey explained.