Desari Mack and her children, Tyler Philips and Krystal Randolph, all thirteen, lived in the Medford section of Suffolk County, New York. They were a happy family who attended William Paca Middle School and shared a home with their mom.
But the world as Philips knew it shifted two days after his birthday. Their lives were thrown into chaos by a horrific event. This was an unexpected development.
Philips and Randolph had had a typical day in the park and were on their way home. Since it was the only park within walking distance, the local youngsters frequently used it.
On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, around 7:30 p.m., the siblings strolled along the bike lane on Granny Road. They were on their way home and expecting to be hit by an SUV when disaster struck.
In an instant, Philips sprang in front of the vehicle and pushed his sister out of the path. The youngster’s act of courage in trying to save his sister’s life was tragically miscalculated.
The grey SUV driver did not stop to check on the youngsters but continued driving away after the collision. The responding emergency personnel soon took the youngsters to Stony Brook University Hospital.
Though Randolph escaped with minor injuries, Philips’ proved catastrophic. Mack was devastated when she discovered that a hit-and-run motorist had injured her kids. The future held no clues for her.
It was on Thursday morning when the attending medical staff confirmed Philips’ death. The selfless sibling perished from his wounds while tending to Randolph. His untimely death saddened his loved ones.
Only two days after Philips’ birthday, his family said they never imagined he would pass away so soon. His mother had to quickly start arrangements for his funeral instead of dreaming about her son’s future.
Philips remained a hospital patient after his family consented to organ donation. Crystal Floww, his aunt, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family financially. She gushed over her nephew, saying he was brilliant, daring, and fierce but also kind. Those he loved were always the focus of his undivided attention.
William Floyd School District administrators took to Twitter to share their frustrations. They were relieved to learn that Randolph had made it but devastated by the news of Tyler’s death.
The school system also announced that counselors would be accessible to anybody who learned of the disaster and felt they needed help processing their emotions. Additionally, they helped out Philip’s family. But at this tragic time, Superintendent of Schools Lance Lohman said that the school district is keeping the family and friends of Tyler and Krystal in its prayers.
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of a William Floyd student…Anyone with any information, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/wLWrWJUs8M— William Floyd School District (@WilliamFloydSD) October 13, 2022
Randolph has said that her late brother is responsible for her survival. She was hurting emotionally as she was recovering from her injuries. He was a great hero, Mack said. His legacy as a hero will endure forever.
Mack and her children had lived in a shelter for one whole year. Like most neighborhood kids, the siblings didn’t have a vehicle, so they walked there.
Authorities released information regarding the hit-and-run vehicle shortly after the tragic event. From 2005-2009, they mistook it for a gray Chevrolet Equinox. Deputy Inspector David Doherty has said that front and/or side passenger damage is expected to the vehicle. They are thoroughly searching the area for any possible eyewitnesses or surveillance video.
Residents were advised to contact authorities with any information about the car or its passengers. The authorities need the public’s assistance in identifying the culprit.
When we heard of Philip’s death, we all made a point of driving more safely. We are all very sorry for his suffering at work caused by his family and friends.