The 10 Roxborough people were packed into a station wagon that lost control and hit a tree on Northwestern Avenue, a narrow, wooded, dead-end street that marks the Philadelphia border and feeds into a Fairmount Park nature preserve that neighbors said is a popular nighttime teenage hangout.
Police are still investigating the accident. They said they think the driver, 16-year-old William Kerper, may have been speeding. He was treated at Chestnut Hill Hospital for cuts and bruises and released yesterday. Neither drugs nor alcohol was involved, police said.
The 1983 Ford Fairmont may have slid on a carpet of leaves before slamming into a tree on the left side of a road, which is not quite wide enough to accommodate two cars, police said. It spun around and may have flipped over, tearing off the rear driver's side door and throwing at least three people, including Petrucci, into the street. Luce had to be extricated from the car's rear cargo area with the Jaws of Life, police said.
Fourteen-year-old Maureen Kenney was flown by helicopter to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition recovering from surgery yesterday.
Brian Costa, 15, was in fair condition at the Medical College Hospital's Main Campus, where Nicole McHugh, 12, and Kevin Leahy, 15, were treated for minor injuries and released.
Joseph Briston, 17, Keith House, 14, and Adrienne Kenney, 13, all were treated for minor injuries at Chestnut Hill Hospital and released.
After the accident, four of the children made their way down the wooded street to Jayne Black's house and waited as she called for an ambulance, she said yesterday.
Black dialed 911 and reported the accident to a Philadelphia dispatcher, but was disconnected, and called back. She criticized both the rescue response time and what she characterized as the chaos that ensued at the accident scene as police, rescue and fire units from three municipalities converged on the narrow street.
But a Philadelphia dispatcher said yesterday that records show just seven minutes elapsed between Black's first call and the arrival of Philadelphia police. And Springfield Lt. William Householder said the massive response was normal for a border area, where jurisdiction is unclear.
Householder said some of the youngsters told police that they had intended to go to a nearby mall, but decided they didn't have enough money to shop.
They then headed to the Friendly's Restaurant on Ridge Pike so Luce could apply for a job there. It wasn't clear whether they stopped at the restaurant, but at some point they turned into nearby Northwestern Avenue.