A 17-year-old driver struck and killed a father in California last week who had 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 authorities confirmed that the accident is currently under investigation and the driver is cooperating.
The identities of both the driver and the victim have not been disclosed by authorities.
According to a press release from the Rocklin Police Department, the incident took place on May 18 at about 8:15 p.m. when the man parked his vehicle at the intersection of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Boulevard.
“The man was reportedly trying to help some ducklings that were in the intersection. As the man was in the intersection, a teenage driver was headed eastbound on Stanford Ranch Boulevard. This juvenile driver struck the pedestrian who was in the roadway,” the release states. “The driver remained at the scene of the collision. Emergency first responders arrived to assist, however 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 is urging anyone with information relevant to the investigation to contact detectives.
Several witnesses were at the scene and watched the tragic ordeal unfold. A 12-year-old boy named William Wimsatt, who witnessed the accident up close, spoke to Sacramento ABC affiliate KCRA-TV with the permission 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 shooing the ducks and everyone was clapping because he was being really nice. He helped them get up over the curb because all the little baby duckies were having trouble and then he walked in front of our car,” William told the station. “My mom 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 that [the car hit him].”
William told the station that the car seemingly came out of nowhere. He said that he didn’t see the vehicle actually strike the man, but said he did see the immediate aftermath.
“I didn’t see the car actually hit him. All I remember is the sound and then him flying across 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 hit.
“He was the only person to get out of the car and try and help them and he was probably the nicest person in the entire area,” William said, adding, “It’s not fair.”
Mourners have created a makeshift memorial at the site of the fatal crash, leaving flowers and toy rubber duckies at the intersection.
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