A California father who was killed by a teenage driver while helping a family of ducks across a road has been named as dad-of-two Casey Rivara.
The ‘kind’ and ‘compassionate’ 41 year-old parked his car by the side of the road and ushered the mother and her family of ducklings across the intersection of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Boulevard in Rocklin, California on Friday evening.
Tragically Rivara was hit by a 17-year-old female driver and killed as his helpless children, eleven and six, watched on from the family car.
A Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told NBC News the unnamed driver was cooperating, and that it was unlikely she’d be charged over the death.
In the aftermath of the incident Rivara’s heartbroken aunt Tracey Rivara created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Casey’s widow, Angel.
Writing on the site, which has already raised more than $40,000, Ms Rivara wrote in tribute to her nephew: ‘Casey was the kindest, most amazing husband and father. Even his last act in this world was a sign of his compassion.
Happy family: Casey, with ‘love of his life’ wife Angel, and his two children James, 6, and Sophia, 11
The father’s heroic act was caught on camera by 12-year-old William Wimsatt
‘The family is trying to figure out how to recover and keep going after this immense loss’ she added.
Ms Rivara described how family-man Casey had met the love of his life, Angel, in high school when they were just 17, ‘they quickly fell madly in love and remained inseparable partners for the past 23 years’ she wrote.
The couple shared two children, Sophia and James, now eleven and six, who attended Maria Montessori Charter Academy.
‘His family was Casey’s world, and to remain even closer to them he had recently started working at their children’s school’ his aunt wrote.
‘He loved working at the school as he was able to positively impact other children.’
Maria Montessori Charter Academy confirmed Rivera was an employee but did not want to comment further.
Rivara’s final act of kindness was captured by 12-year-old William Wimsatt, the child of another driver.
Speaking to 3KCRA William said: ‘He got out of the car, he was shooing the ducks everyone was clapping because he was being really nice.’
‘He helped them get up on the curb because the baby duckies were having trouble.’
The Wimsatt family thanked Rivara for his good deed, but moments later a car travelling eastbound on Stanford Ranch Boulevard struck and killed the good Samaritan.
‘All I remember is the sound and then him flying across the intersection,’ he added, ‘his shoes and one of his socks were right in front of our car.’
‘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,’ William said.
After the incident William’s mother got out of her car and comforted the man’s children who were sitting in the man’s parked car, and unfortunately witnessed the collision.
The Wimsatt family have since contributed $1000 to the family’s GoFundMe page.
Parents and relatives of children at Maria Montessori Charter Academy worked for have shared their children’s sense of loss.
Samuel Brewer wrote in the community group: ‘My granddaughter went to the school where he volunteers and said she lost her friend from the lunch room that was nice.’
Another Breanna Rybinski commented: ‘My son came home from school devastated over the news that his friend’s dad and someone who frequently helped out at the school was hit by a car last night.
‘This man from what I was told was loved by all. RIP.’
In the photographs Rivara, wearing a burgundy t-shirt, black shorts and trainers can be seen tenderly moving the ducks to safety.
Another woman, Summer Peterson, said her children also saw the scene unfold.
‘They were saying, ‘Oh, it’s so cute. It’s so nice of him.’ And then all of a sudden he was hit by a car,’ she told CBS 13.
Peterson has created a temporary memorial at the site of the crash, with locals leaving flowers, and her son brought rubber ducks in tribute to the man’s last act of kindness.
Casey Rivara is remembered as a loving husband and father by his heartbroken family
The collision took place at the intersection of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Boulevard in Rocklin, California
Rocklin Police said the 17-year-old was travelling east down Stanford Ranch Boulevard
Summer Peterson’s son brought flowers and rubber duckies to honor the man killed
Police are still investigating the incident and no arrests have yet been made
‘My son wanted to bring rubber duckies and flowers to this gentlemen who lost his life, he was a father.’
Amie Grout, who arrived at the scene moments after the collision wrote on a neighborhood Facebook post about the incident: ‘It was a scene I won’t ever unsee. To all the amazing Rocklin residents flying out of their cars to help, men with shirts off ready to make tourniquets for the victim, to the men and women in their cars praying for this man, my hearts are with all of you.’
Another, Dustin Goodshall, said that CPR had to be administered.
Rocklin Police said the 17-year-old female driver remained at the scene after the accident and is cooperating fully with the investigation.
In a statement the police department said: ‘The driver remained at the scene of the collision.
‘Emergency first responders arrived to assist, however the man died at the scene. The Major Accident Investigation Team was activated and responded to the area.
‘No arrest was made, and the incident is still under investigation’ they added.
‘We would like to extend our condolences to all involved in this tragic event.’
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Rocklin Police Department.