A community in California is grieving after a good Samaritan was struck and killed by a car when he helped a mother duck and several of her ducklings cross a busy intersection on Thursday evening.
Casey Rivara was reportedly hit by a teenage driver at the intersection of Stanford Ranch Road and Park Drive in Rocklin, Calif., local police announced.
Rivara, 41, reportedly parked his own vehicle at the intersection when he noticed the waddling ducks struggling to cross the street where the speed limit reaches 45 kilometres per hour. Others waiting at the intersection took photos of Rivara as he bent over to guide the line of eight to 10 ducklings to safety.
Many onlookers clapped, honked and cheered for Rivara at the stopped intersection, as per the Washington Post.
Though the mama duck and her fuzzy ducklings reached the sidewalk unharmed, Rivara was hit before he could return to his vehicle. Rivara’s two children, ages 11 and six, were waiting in the parked car when their father was struck by the 17-year-old driver. Rivara and the children were returning home from a swimming practice nearby.
Rivara died at the scene. The unnamed teenage driver stayed nearby as first responders attempted to revive Rivara.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, according to the Rocklin Police Department.
Since his death on Thursday, Rocklin locals have created a makeshift memorial for Rivara at the scene of his death, complete with flowers and yellow rubber ducks.
William, a 12-year-old witness to the collision, told NBC News he took a photo of Rivara as he helped the family of ducks cross the street.
“I didn’t see the car actually hit him. All I remember was the sound and then him flying across the intersection,” William said. “Even though I didn’t really know him at all, I could tell that he was a really amazing person.”
Rivara’s aunt, Tracey Rivara, started a GoFundMe page to support the family.
“Casey was the kindest, most amazing husband and father. Even his last act in this world was a sign of his compassion,” Tracey wrote.
The GoFundMe has raised over US$80,000, far beyond the original $30,000 goal.
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