LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A 55-year-old wheelchair-bound man was killed Sunday after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Long Beach.

Police said Robert Diaz was trying to cross the street at Artesia Boulevard and Rose Avenue around 5:30 p.m. when he was hit by a gray 4-door sedan.

Witness Rasheed Sanusi said he called 911 seconds after the collision.

“I heard a big crash. I saw him laying on the street. His wheelchair was 20 to 25 feet away…busted into 20 pieces,” he said.

Sanusi said at first, he thought the paraplegic victim was fine.

“He was talking and coherent,” he said.

Diaz was taken to the hospital, but died hours later from his injuries.

According to police, a witness saw the hit-and-run driver get out of his car on Gardenia Avenue, which is south of Artesia.

“He pulled around the corner and got out and started walking back to the scene. So the witnesses were confident he knew he had struck an individual and was coming back…but when officers came to locate him, he was gone,” said Sgt. Aaron Eaton from the Long Beach Police Department.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, 190 to 200 pounds, with black hair.

Detectives are reviewing video surveillance in the area to see if the crime was caught on camera.


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