PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The mother of a man killed in a hit-and-run in December says she’ll never be at peace, but she says news on Thursday of an arrest in the case has given her a tinge of relief.
On the day after Christmas last year, a driver tore a trail of destruction and death from Fishtown to Glenwood, killing 22-year-old Roland Darrel White and injuring three other people in a series of hit-and-runs.
On Wednesday, police publicly identified that driver as 32-year-old Neera Nicolas-Hudson and announced a warrant for her arrest on charges of murder, homicide-by-vehicle and other related offenses.
White’s mother, Shannon Prophet, spoke with KYW Newsradio shortly after police announced Nicolas-Hudson had been taken into custody, more than five months after her son was killed.
“I just want to know why — like, why you didn't stop? When you hit the first person, why didn’t you stop? Second person — why didn't you stop with him? Why didn't you stop?” she said. “Her stopping could have made a big difference in this.”
Prophet says she has a lot of questions about that night.
“I just want to see her. I want to have a sit-down with her, just want to talk to her,” she said.
“Why? What happened? What caused this? Where did it start? … So many questions. It's a lot. I have a book. It's a lot.”
According to police, Nicolas-Hudson started at Rivers Casino on North Delaware Avenue, where she knocked a 51-year-old man off his scooter. She then circled the valet parking lot, hitting three more vehicles, giving one driver, a 48-year-old woman, a minor injury.
The man was taken to an area hospital in stable condition with a broken leg, police said.
But Nicolas-Hudson fled the scene, driving to the area of Broad and Spring Garden streets, where she hit a 53-year-old man on a bicycle, said police. He was treated at a hospital for an injury that was not life-threatening.
Nicolas-Hudson again took off, northbound on Broad Street. That’s when she hit and killed White. He was standing at the corner of Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue when she ran him over, police said.
Nicolas-Hudson fled that final crash and dumped her 2005 Ford Mustang at Broad Street and Indiana Avenue.
After police announced their search for Nicolas-Hudson on Wednesday, White’s family offered a reward for information leading to her arrest. She was in police custody a day later.
“I'm never going to be at peace, but I'm almost with closure. Once she gets convicted, I’ll feel a little better.”
She says this year has been extremely difficult for her. White was her first-born child — the one who made her a mother.
“I grew up with him,” she said. "This is my first Mother's Day without my child. That, that was extremely hard.”
But Prophet says she’s been trying to stay strong through the ordeal — for the sake of her other four children.
“All my other kids is what’s saving me. They are … keeping me afloat right now.”
Prophet vows to attend every day of Nicolas-Hudson’s trial. “Whenever it’s gonna be, I'm gonna be there with bells on and everything. She ain’t never gonna forget my face,” she said.
“I hope she never sees freedom again. Never. Never. I want her to remember this. I want my son's face to be the last thing she sees when she closes her eyes and the first thing she sees when she wakes up.”