Children killed in North Philly crash mourned in emotional farewell

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 Mourners arrive at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 15th and Oxford streets in North Philadelphia on Monday morning for funeral services for the three children killed in a hit-and-run tragedy on July 25. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Mourners arrive at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 15th and Oxford streets in North Philadelphia on Monday morning for funeral services for the three children killed in a hit-and-run tragedy on July 25. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Family and friends of three children killed in an accident in North Philadelphia last month gathered to say goodbye Monday during emotional services at Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Siblings Keiearra Williams, 15, Joseph Reed, 10,  and Terrance Moore, 7, were killed when the driver of a carjacked vehicle lost control July 25.

Keiearra had just graduated from Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School. Her former teacher Herman Douglas recalled that she was extremely bright.

“She was the top of the top with regards to being a student,” said Douglas outside the church. “And Terrance was just a young man that was just full of character. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. He was just so loving and caring to everyone within the building, with his peers. He was just an exceptional young man.”

“It should not be a war zone in the community that we live in,” Douglas added. “It should be a place where children are given an opportunity to be taken out of the at-risk situation.”

District Attorney Seth Williams attended the funeral to pay his respects to the family. In his remarks, he made reference to another recent tragedy in the city, when a 3-year-old girl sitting on a porch was hit by a stray bullet.

“Those of us who believe in a God know that these three angels are in a better place today,” Williams said. “They are in a place with no hunger, a place with no wars, a place where a 3-year-old girl can get her hair braided and not get shot.”

Two men have been arrested and charged in the caracking, crash and other crimes.

Keiearra, Joseph and Terrance had been selling fruit to raise money for a community garden associated with their church when the out-of-control vehicle plowed into the crowd on the sidewalk.

“My prayers go out to the family,” said Sharhonda Hawkins, a neighbor, “and to the mother. I just feel like right now we just have to pray. We just have to pray and just give our love and condolence to her, because it’s going to take some healing.”

The children’s mother, Keisha Williams, 34, also injured in the crash, was still in critical condition Monday at Temple University Hospital.

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