A California man got out of his car to help a family of ducks safely cross the road, but was struck and killed when a teen driver came through the reportedly dangerous intersection.
Casey Rivara, 41, had noticed that the ducklings were struggling to get across the street, and had gotten out of his car to guide them to safety. Neighbors were watching and cheering him on, clapping as he helped the ducklings out of danger.
One 12-year-old witness spoke to local outlet KCRA, saying, “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.”
“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 witness continued, indicating that was when the car had struck Rivara. “I didn’t see the car actually hit him. All I remember is the sound and then him flying across the intersection. His shoes and one of his socks were right in front of our car.”
The driver, a 17-year-old girl whose name has not been released, stayed at the scene and immediately cooperated with first responders and police. No arrest was made at the scene and police told NBC News that they did not expect to file charges related to the accident.
“We still have a lot of areas and evidence to sort through, but at first look it does not look like there’s going to be any criminal negligence,” police said.
Roya Rouhizadeh, who owns the nearby Rocklin Flower Shop, told ABC News that she has seen more accidents in that spot in recent years and said that the intersection is getting more dangerous.
“Lots of people moved as a family to enjoy the area. It’s getting really crowded, and unfortunately, some people don’t pay attention when the animals pass [or where] kids are going. We need to watch more for people,” she said. “We need one of those signs that says ‘No turn’ because turning when the other light is green has been so dangerous. Myself or my husband, we’ve all been in that situation. We’re turning, and suddenly somebody comes to cut you off.”
Rivara’s widow, Angel Chow, responded to the tragedy and the outpouring of support she had received in a Facebook post: “We have been deeply touched by the overwhelming love and support we’ve received for Casey Rivara and our family in these past few days,” Chow said Sunday evening. “We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for the kind messages and gestures of kindness. It’s truly humbling to hear how Casey has positively impacted your lives, and we’re extremely grateful for that.”
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