Police identify youths struck by van

Fault still unclear

probe continues

April 15, 2008|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter

Baltimore police identified yesterday the two young brothers who were struck by a minivan, killing one, on a West Baltimore street during the weekend, while prosecutors said they are reviewing the incident for possible criminal charges.

The toddler who died was identified as Kyrell Sellers, 3. His brother, who was treated and released from a hospital, was identified as Kamian Vaughn, 4. Both lived in the 3100 block of Ripple Road in Gwynn Oak.

Police have said that the driver of a minivan that hit the children on West Fayette Street on Saturday was not at fault and might have been forced onto a sidewalk by the driver of another car.

But Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office, said investigators are checking reports that the drivers of the two vehicles might have been racing. "Everyone's under investigation," she said. "There's no one who's been exonerated and not found to be culpable."

In fatal accident cases, city police typically turn over the results of their investigation to prosecutors, who determine whether to file charges. Burns said the probe has not been completed.

Kyrell and Kamian were with their mother visiting a relative who lives in the 1000 block of W. Fayette St., according to a family friend. Their mother was still inside the house and the boys were outside with relatives and about to get into a car when they were struck by the minivan, said Arlene Baker, a friend who witnessed the crash and who works at The Sun as an editorial assistant.

"We didn't think the van was going to come up on the sidewalk," Baker said. "The next thing you know, the driver accelerates onto the curb. It maneuvered into the crowd, and everybody just started getting out of the way."

Baker said the minivan struck marble steps in front of a rowhouse at West Fayette and Schroeder streets, and then struck a second set of steps. When it stopped, Baker said, she noticed Kyrell's legs pinned under the car's front end, she said.

"The last thing I saw was the baby running and reaching and I was reaching" for him, Baker said.

Sterling Clifford, a police spokesman, said two people in the minivan tried to get help, and that neighborhood residents assaulted the remaining passenger.

But Baker said witnesses to the crash were trying to stop several people in the minivan from running away. She said the woman whom police described as a passenger was actually the driver, and that she remained at the scene because her door had been damaged and she couldn't open it.

Rochelle Cooper, who lives in the second house whose steps were hit by the minivan and where the boy was pinned, said she went and bought flowers and placed them on her steps. The heavy marble steps had been knocked loose and to the side.

"That can be fixed, but this baby's life can't be brought back," Cooper said. "My heart goes out to them. ... I just can't believe it happened."

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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