COMMERCE (CBSLA) — An investigation is underway in Commerce following a fatal accident involving a man driving a pickup truck and a pedestrian — and authorities said in a sad twist, the two men turned out to have been good friends.
The deceased was described as a man in a wheelchair. He was crossing the street at the time of the accident.
The victim was identified Saturday afternoon by coroner’s Lt. David Smith as Richard Gutierrez, 54, a Commerce resident.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to Jardine Street and South Atlantic Boulevard just before 7:45 a.m.
Compounding the tragic circumstances of the accident, authorities said the driver and Gutierrez were good friends.
Charles Imperial, a friend of the victim’s, told CBS2/KCAL9 that the coincidence of the driver and victim being friends made the loss even more shocking.
“The guy in the truck, he ran over the guy in the wheelchair,” Imperial said, “the truck is so high and the wheelchair is so low. It’s just unbelievable. I guess he just didn’t see him.”
The driver remained on scene and cooperated with authorities.
Gutierrez was declared dead at the scene