Woman hit by alleged carjackers: They’re lucky cops got them first

Posted: July 31, 2014

THELMA BROWN has one thing to say about Jonathan Rosa and Cornelius Crawford, the two men police say struck her and killed three kids she loved dearly:

"They are very lucky that the police officers got them before the people around here that know me did," she said last night in an interview on her front porch in Tioga.

"Because otherwise, the cops would've had to bring body bags."

Brown, 69, was released from Hahnemann University Hospital last night, nearly a week after she was struck by a stolen vehicle as she sold fruit for a church fundraiser at Germantown and Allegheny avenues.

Her right ankle is fractured, and remains wrapped in a cast. It hurts, she said, but not too much.

The true pain comes from remembering what happened last Friday.

She only has flashes of memory, scenes she can clip together in the moments before a Toyota 4Runner barreled into her, her neighbor Keisha Williams and three of Keisha's children.

"I was trying to put up my canopy, standing together with the kids, deciding where to put it," Brown said.

"I heard this noise, and then I saw the car."

She remembers feeling the front of the SUV slam into her, launching her into the air. Then, nothing.

Her next memory is sitting on the sidewalk, screaming for emergency medical crews to take care of the kids: Joseph Reed, 7; Terrence Moore, 10; and Keierra Williams, 15.

"I said 'Don't worry about me, go help them,' " she said.

It wasn't until two days after the crash, as she sat in a hospital bed at Hahnemann, that she learned that none of the three had survived.

"It just wasn't real, it didn't seem real," she said, adding that the kids were "like my babies."

Her grief was somewhat softened last night as a steady barrage of neighbors and friends came to visit her. Some brought flowers. All brought smiles and warm embraces.

"This is more people than I ever thought," Brown said, gesturing to the crowded street in front of her rowhouse. "I'm devastated, but I appreciate the support from the people in the community."

She's also thinking of Williams, who remains in a coma at Temple University Hospital. Williams has undergone six surgeries since the crash, some to alleviate bleeding in her brain, Brown said.

She doesn't know that three of her children are gone.

"These men, the ones who did this, need to ask God for forgiveness," Brown said, "because he's the only one that they're gonna get it from."

" @Vellastrations

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