The family of a Drexel grad killed in a weekend hit-and-run is pleading for the driver responsible to come forward.
"I am pleading with the person who hit my son – I forgive you. … Please come forward,” said Channabel Latham-Morris, whose 27-year-old son Jamal died two days after he was hit while biking at 45th and Market around 4 a.m. Saturday.
“Jamal lost his life by a senseless hit-and-run driver while he was on his bike,” she told media outside Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where Morris died from his injuries on Monday at 10:10 a.m.
"He had a severe devastating brain injury with a lot of bleeding in his brain,” said José L. Pascual, a trauma and neurointensivist at Penn Presbyterian. "Despite maximal management, this ... led to his passing yesterday."
Morris was so badly hurt by the crash near 45th and Market streets just before 4 a.m. Saturday that first responders initially thought he was the victim of an assault, police said.
“We're stumped right now ... We have no piece of the car left behind, we have no physical evidence, we have no reliable eyewitnesses," said Accident Investigation Division Capt. John Wilczynski. “I have to appeal to the conscience of the person that hit him to come forward and turn themselves in. That’d be the right thing to do.”
Morris, who graduated from Drexel University with an engineering d egree, worked at Amec Foster Wheeler and was a part-time supervisor at the David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center – so he could work out in the gym for free, his mom said.
Bill Mahon, Morris’ freshman roommate and friend from Drexel, said their group of friends was shocked when they heard about Morris’ death.
“All our jaws just dropped,” Mahon said. “Jamal was like a brother to me."
Morris’ parents hail from St. Vincent in the Carribean, but now live in Warwick, New York. Morris was born in the U.S. and decided to permanently move to Philly after attending Drexel.
Morris' mother said she is focusing on the positive, despite losing her only son.
"I’m going to miss him dearly. But I want you to know that seven people are going to be saved by his life. His organs were donated to seven individuals, So he is going to live on," she said.
Anyone with information about the driver responsible is being asked to call AID at 215-685-3180 or 911. Tips can be left anonymously.