Friday, 21 Jun 2024

Dad helping ducks across road hit and killed by car in front of his children

A dad was tragically hit and killed by a car just moments after helping a family of ducks across a busy road.

The man jumped out of his own vehicle after spotting the mother duck and her babies struggling to make their way through traffic at a busy intersection in California, USA.

Other road users had come to a complete standstill and watched on as he heroically guided them to safety, with many even applauding after he’d done so. 

Seconds later, he was struck by a car and died at the scene, all while his own children helplessly sat in his car waiting for him to come back.

The driver of the car who ran down the father, a 17-year-old girl, immediately stopped and is cooperating with the investigation into the collision, police have said. 

Several families and other children also witnessed the horrifying incident at Stanford Ranch Road and Park Drive on Thursday night.

Describing it as his ‘final act of kindness’, local news channel, KCRA 3, spoke to one 12-year-old who saw the tragedy unfold and had taken pictures of the victim’s touching gesture shortly beforehand.

Reporter Michelle Bandur said: ‘It went from a scene of pure joy and happiness to the worst outcome imaginable.’

Speaking to the channel, with his mother’s permission, William Wimsatt explained that no one moved through the intersection and drivers were waiting despite the lights being green.

He said: ‘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 kerb because all the little baby duckies were having trouble and then he walked in front of our car.

‘My mom rolled down the window and said, “Good job, good job,” and I said, “Good job” to him too.’

The second after the family had thanked the man, he was hit by the car, which William says seemed to come out of nowhere.

He said: ‘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.’

William says his sister fortunately didn’t see the incident because she was in the backseat focusing on the ducks.

His mother went to comfort the man’s children who were waiting in his car and asking for their father, who has not yet been named. 

The pictures William had taken show the man – wearing glasses, a burgundy t-shirt, black shorts and trainers – ushering the ducks across the road.

William wants people to remember the kind man who saved the ducks before he died.

He added: ‘He was the only person to get out of the car and try and help them and probably the nicest person in the entire area. It’s not fair.’

A small memorial with flowers and rubber ducks has been set up in honour and memory of the man.

Jude, another 12-year-old who also witnessed the tragedy, said: ‘You should honour him because he was being really kind and then something horrible happened to him. He was an amazing person.’

Rocklin Police Department confirmed it is investigating a single car accident that killed a man at approximately 8.15pm local time on May 18 after he’d parked his vehicle at the intersection.

A spokesman said: ‘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 driver remained at the scene of the collision. Emergency first responders arrived to assist, however the man died at the scene. 

‘No arrest was made, and the incident is still under investigation. We would like to extend our condolences to all involved in this tragic event.’

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the Rocklin Police Department. 

At the weekend, a four-year-old boy was killed in a crash alongside his mum and her friend in Worcestershire.

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