A 17-year-old driver struck and killed a father in California last week who pulled over to help a brood of ducklings cross the street at a busy intersection while his own children watched from the car. No arrests have been made since the fatal collision, but law enforcement has confirmed that the crash is being investigated and the driver is cooperating.
The identities of the driver and victim have not been released by authorities.
According to a press release from the Rocklin Police Department, the incident happened on May 18 at around 8:15 p.m. when the man parked his vehicle at the intersection of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Boulevard.
“The man allegedly tried to help some ducklings who were at the intersection. While the man was at the intersection, a teenager was heading east on Stanford Ranch Boulevard. This juvenile driver hit the pedestrian who was on the roadway,” the statement said. “The driver remained at the scene of the collision. Emergency first responders arrived to help, but the man died at the scene.
The RPD Major Accident Investigation Team was activated and responded to the scene of the collision, which remained closed for several hours. The department urges anyone with information relevant to the investigation to contact detectives.
Several witnesses were on the scene and witnessed the tragic ordeal. A 12-year-old boy named William Wimsatt, who witnessed the crash up close, spoke to Sacramento ABC affiliate KCRA-TV, courtesy of his mother.
William, his younger sister and his mother were all in the car together watching the man help the ducklings.
“He got out of the car and was chasing the ducks and everyone was cheering because he was really nice. He helped them get up over the sidewalk because all the little baby ducks were in trouble and then he’s passed our car,” William told the station. “My mum rolled down the window and said, ‘Good job, good job’ and I said ‘Good job’ to him too, and then right after that, the second after [the car hit him].”
William told the station that the car apparently came out of nowhere. He said he did not see the vehicle hit the man, but saw the immediate aftermath.
“I didn’t see the car hit him. All I remember is the noise and then it flying through the intersection,” the boy said. “His shoes and one of his socks were right in front of our car.”
According to the report, William’s mother also went to comfort the man’s children, who were in the car when their father was run over.
“He was the only person to get out of the car and try to help them and he was probably the nicest person in the whole area,” William said, adding, “It’s not fair.”
Mourners have created a makeshift memorial at the site of the fatal crash, leaving flowers and rubber duckies at the intersection.
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