PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A church community is grieving after a crash killed a beloved nun in Northeast Philadelphia. It happened Thursday afternoon at Academy Road and Morrell Avenue.
Yellow flowers and the letters “AR” now sit at the intersection where Sister Frances Antoinette was struck and killed.
“I kind of just kept repeating oh my God, oh my God. It was just beyond shocking,” Archbishop Ryan High School principal Joseph McFadden said.
The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Northeast Philadelphia.
Police say that’s when a PECO truck struck Sister Frances as she was crossing Academy Road and Morrell Avenue.
The driver told officers he did not see her.
“Especially when you see a teacher who has just given her life and touched so many lives with that but really in such a tragic way for her. It’s sad,” McFadden said.
A beloved former theology teacher at Archbishop Ryan High school, Sister Frances’ influence spans decades.
The school’s current principal is a former student of hers.
“When I became a principal she used to always joke with the students that you never know the students that are gonna be sitting in your seats. Make sure you’re always treating people well. You never know where your future boss could be,” McFadden said.
At 80 years old and even after suffering from a stroke, people who knew Sister Frances say she was resilient and independent. They say she was most likely walking to or from the bus stop when she was hit.
“She was as strong as she ever was,” McFadden said.
PECO released a statement saying their concern, thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, and they will be launching a full investigation into the incident.
Archbishop Nelson Perez also released a statement. In it, he acknowledged Sister Frances as a faithful witness to Christ who enriched the lives of her students.
“She was an amazing woman who just gave selfishly of her life, her time,” McFadden said.