Man driving naked from the waist down kills teen, injures another during crash in West Philly: police – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A terrible accident in West Philadelphia left a teenager dead on Wednesday night. A driver struck two people and several parked vehicles.

Philadelphia police identified the slain teen as 16-year-old James Saunders of Philadelphia.

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Police say all signs point to a disability because when the driver was removed from the vehicle, he smelled of alcohol and was naked from the waist down.

This is what police believe happened:

They believe a 27-year-old man was driving south on 44th Street in West Philly just before 11:00 p.m. Wednesday when he struck two pedestrians with his Toyota Highlander SUV.

They say he hit Saunders so hard the teen fell out of his sneakers and his body was dragged about 100 feet.

Officers aren’t exactly sure where the 21-year-old was hit, but believe it was on the same block. And they say the driver didn’t stop there.

They say he continued south until he hit three cars parked unattended a block away at the intersection of 44th and Reno streets.

That crash caused serious damage to all three vehicles and the Highlander.

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Investigators suspect the man was driving drunk because when police pulled him out of the vehicle, they say he smelled of alcohol and was completely naked from the waist down.

Investigators also suspect speed was a factor.

“We found debris covering an area of ​​about 300 feet from the vehicle that collided,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “One of the pedestrians fell out of his sneakers. We found at least one cell phone and a lot of debris from this striking vehicle.”

“When he was removed from the vehicle, he was completely naked from the waist down, which is highly unusual for driving a vehicle naked from the waist down,” he added. “So that’s one of the reasons we think he may have been affected. Also, because of the way he was acting and I think the officers smelled an odor of alcohol that was also coming from him and the vehicle.”

Both victims were taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

While Saunders was pronounced dead around 11 p.m., police say the 21-year-old suffered a broken right ankle, as well as some bumps and bruises, but is expected to survive.

The 27-year-old driver is not facing any charges at the moment, but that could change depending on the results of blood tests done last night.

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After the crash, police determined that the Highlander driven by the crash suspect was reported stolen from Cheltenham Township around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.

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