SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A hit-and-run driver plowed into a couple sitting on a bench at a Santa Ana bus stop, killing the husband and seriously injuring his wife Tuesday.
An SUV slammed into 72-year-old Dien Van Le and his 68-year-old wife in the 2300 block of McFadden Avenue at Center Street at about 4:45 a.m., according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The SUV was eastbound on McFadden when the driver veered all the way across into the west lanes and onto the sidewalk before the vehicle “plowed into the bus stop where our two victims were sitting,” Bertagna said. “Then he continued – I don’t know how – between a palm tree and a post and gets into a parking lot of the Jerome Park Senior Center, does a u-turn, comes back and stops next to the victims, doesn’t identify himself or get out of the car or calls police and instead flees at a high rate of speed, leaving our victims there.”
A witness said the driver was veering and never put on the brakes before hitting the couple. He said he watched helplessly as Le’s injured wife cradled her dying husband. She’s expected to survive.
Bertagna said the victims were caretakers of the Hoa Hao Buddhist temple across the street from the crash site.
A worker there said Le had been a lieutenant with the former South Vietnamese forces and a prisoner of war after the Fall of Saigon in 1975.
Police are now looking for a dark Nissan SUV with moderate front damage.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Santa Ana police Cpl. Matt Wharton at (714) 834-4211.