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January 16, 2015

Pedestrian identified in fatal Center City fall

Delco woman suffers multiple fractures while walking along Chestnut Street

Center City
High rise accident Al B. For/for PhillyVoice

Woman falls on top of pedestrian in Center City.

The pedestrian struck by a woman who fell eight stories in Center City on Thursday night has been identified as Erica Goodwin, 44, of Lansdowne, Delaware County.

Goodwin was rushed to Hahnemann University Hospital on Thursday night with neck and back injuries after 18-year-old Rebecca Kim fell from a window above the H&M store at 1530 Chestnut Street. Goodwin suffered from multiple spine and rib fractures, ABC6 reports.

Kim was rushed to Jefferson University Hospital,where she died.

An official with the Philadelphia Art Institute, which owns the building where Kim fell from a dorm room window, says the school took precautions to prevent anyone falling out of a window in the building.

"Each window in that facility is a double window and has two locks," said Chris Hardman, spokesperson for the institution, in an email. "You would need to disengage both locks and then unlatch one of the windows to open that window."

Kim, 18, a freshman pre-pharmacy student at Temple University, was reported to have been leaning out a window and taking photos when she fell from the building above the H&M store at 1530 Chestnut St. in Center City. She landed on a 44-year-old female pedestrian on the sidewalk below.


Kim was a 2014 graduate of Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Montgomery County, where a moment of silence was held Friday morning for her.

Lyn Fields, principal at the school, remembered Kim as an active student especially interested in science.

“The senior that we knew was very involved and just a great kid,” said Fields. “Super student.”

Kim was a member of the National Honors Society, involved in math and science clubs, participated in state competitions and ran indoor track, Fields said.

“She just kind of loved life,” Fields said. “This staff is very upset.”

According to Kim’s Facebook page, she was a resident of North Wales, Montgomery County.

Several people on Twitter are memorializing Kim with the hashtag #WissNation, an apparent nod to the high school. 

Alfred For, who was walking west on Chestnut Street and arrived on the scene shortly after the fall, told PhillyVoice a crowd quickly gathered around the two women after the tragic accident.

“There were a couple of people on the ground trying to save this woman,” said For, who took photos and video at the scene. “At first it looked like both of them were dead. They were doing CPR on one of the women.”

Neil D. Theobald, the president of Temple University, sent out a letter of condolence on Friday addressed to the Temple community.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends," the letter said. "Tragic events like these have an impact on many in our community."

Theobald also said students who wanted to talk could contact Tuttleman Counseling Services.

Young-Ki K Hong, who goes by James Hong, said he went to high school with Kim and remembers her energy.

"She was a very involved student," said Hong who remembers her in part from their time together in the Asian Studies Club. "She was always in that, going to all the meetings going to all the vents."

Hong, who is also a freshman at Temple, said he hadn't had much contact with Kim at college but remembered that she was well-liked in high school.

He said Kim was the kind of student others would "be happy to see."




The 1530 apartment building is a nine-story building with 45 apartments, with an H&M store at street level. Finished in 1902 and designed in Georgian Revival style, the building was originally known as the Perry Building and later changed to the Bailey Banks and Biddle Building. It is classified as an official historic site by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The structure has several architectural exterior flourishes, including smooth limestone, granite pilasters and decorative terra cotta accents.

PhillyVoice staff writers Michael Phillis and Lane Blackmer contributed to this story.

This is a developing story, check back for details.