Two separate hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians have left a four-year-old boy dead and a mother and her young son critically hurt in Philadelphia. Both incidents happened last night, with the fatal accident occurring in Southwest Philadelphia and the second injuring a young mother and her two-year-old son as they were crossing the street in the city’s Fairhill section. In both cases, the drivers of the vehicles fled the scene. Police are investigating. 

While both were terrible incidents, pedestrian injuries are a common and serious problem in the United States. Nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed each year in traffic-related accidents and another roughly 75,000 suffer injuries. Common among the victims are children and the elderly.

Among the causes are driver drinking or drug use, speeding, and inattention caused by a variety of reasons, including the use of cell phones. Learn more about motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians.