REDLANDS (CBSLA) – A 48-year-old Redlands crossing guard was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday morning while riding a moped near the 10 Freeway.

The crash occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m. in the intersection of Orange Street and Colton Avenue.

According to Redlands police, the moped was traveling east on Colton Avenue when it was struck by an unknown vehicle. After hitting the moped, the vehicle entered the westbound 10 Freeway and sped away, police said.

The victim – later identified as Leonard Ortiz – was treated at the scene by paramedics and then rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died.

Ortiz worked as a crossing guard near Lugonia Elementary and was featured in a local Redlands newspaper just a few years ago. His wife Tracy told CBS2 she doesn’t understand how her husband of 19 years could suddenly be gone.

Leonard Ortiz (right) and wife Tracy (Photo courtesy Ortiz family)

“He was the man everybody loved to go by, they went out of their way to see the crossing guard, the smiling, happy crossing guard that waved to everybody,” she said.

There was no immediate description of the suspect vehicle or its driver. Anyone with information should call police at 909-798-7681.

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