A child riding on an illegal ATV driven by a 26-year-old man that wasn’t equipped with lights died on Sunday night after they collided with an SUV in West Philadelphia.
The driver of the ATV, who has not been identified, lost his leg as a result of the crash around 11:12 p.m. on April 22 near 63rd and Callowhill streets. The driver of the Jeep Compass they collided with, who remained at the scene of the accident, is facing charges of suspected DUI. Malik Williams, 6, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on April 23.
The two vehicles collided as they were both traveling on 63rd Street near Callowhill Street. The driver of the SUV was headed northbound making a legal left turn, police said, while the ATV was going southbound, and both drivers had a green light. The ATV/mini-bike was not equipped with lights or reflectors, police said, but did not specify if the SUV’s driver saw the ATV or not.
The SUV’s driver, 28, was taken into custody pending possible charges of DUI based on responding officers’ observation of his behavior at that time.
Pending the investigation, the dirt-bike’s operator could also potentially face charges, possibly including endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment of another person, said Captain Mark Overwise, commanding officer of Accident Investigation Division.
This was the first fatality of 2018 involving an ATV or dirt-bike, which are illegal to drive on public roads. In 2017, two fatalities were reported, one 17-year-old male and one 18-year-old male.
“It’s a dangerous thing to drive them on the street,” Overwise said.
Asked what civilians who see people riding these types of dirt-bikes on the road should do, Overwise responded, “They should call 911 and they should pull over … The people who drive these absolutely have no regard for your safety and your own route. I’ve had to do it myself, pull over, let them go by, and just drive on your way. Call 911, and give the best description you can.”
No one involved in the crash was identified on Monday, and no charges have yet been filed.