Man Driving Naked From ‘Waist Down’ Kills Teenage Boy, Injures Another Person During Crash In West Philadelphia: Police

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A horrific crash in West Philadelphia has left a teenage boy dead on Wednesday night. A driver struck two people and several parked vehicles.

Philadelphia police identified the teenager killed as 16-year-old James Saunders of Philadelphia.

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Police say all signs point to impairment because when they pulled the driver out of the vehicle, he smelled like alcohol and was naked from the waist down.

Here’s what police believe happened:

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

They say he hit Saunders so hard that the teen was knocked 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 they believe it was on the same block. And they say the driver didn’t stop there.

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

That crash caused heavy 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 like alcohol and he was completely naked from the waist down.

Investigators also suspect speed was a factor.

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

“When they took him out of the vehicle, he was completely naked from the waist down, which is very unusual to be driving a vehicle naked from the waist down,” he added. “So that’s one of the reasons we believe he may have been impaired. Also, due to the way he was acting and I believe officers smelled an odor of alcohol 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 he’s 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 the blood tests taken last night.

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

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