ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A 3-year-old girl who fell with her sister from a fourth-story window of a Pennsylvania apartment building has died and her sibling has been critically injured, authorities say.
Three-year-old Tamara Arnette died Friday night of her injuries shortly after she and her 5-year-old sister tumbled from the window of the Allentown unit, the Lehigh County coroner's office said Saturday.
The older girl was reported in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest after the 8 p.m. Friday fall at the building in Allentown, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia.
Police Capt. Gail Struss said after Saturday's autopsy that police have found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
"It appears it's going to be an accident," she told The (Easton) Express-Times.
Sirissa Perry of Allentown said she was standing by Nikita's Bar when she heard the screen from a window hit the sidewalk nearby.
"And then I saw the girls falling out the window," Perry told The (Allentown) Morning Call, sobbing. "I ran to catch them, but I couldn't get them in time. I couldn't make it."
The building is part of the transitional housing program of the Bethlehem-based nonprofit Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and has a dozen units for homeless families pursuing educational or vocational training.
Alan Jennings, the nonprofit's executive director, said he had little information on what happened but was deeply troubled by what he had learned so far.
"This is the kind of tragedy you never want to see happen, especially in a situation where the person is in your care. All you can do is drop to your knees and beg God for mercy," Jennings said.
Jalil Rasheed, sitting at a table of incense, beads and other memorabilia, said the girls walked by almost daily, and he frequently gives them candy or bracelets if he has any handy.
"Very sweet little girls," Rasheed said. "They are very nice little girls."