Tragedy struck in Rocklin, California, last Thursday when Mr. Casey Rivara lost his life while selflessly rescuing a family of ducks from potential harm on a busy road.
Mr. Rivara, 41, tragically passed away around 8 PM after witnesses saw him exit his vehicle to ensure the safe crossing of a mother duck and her ducklings to the other side of the street, KCRA reported.
“Everyone was clapping because he was being really nice. He got out of the car and was shooing the ducks,” said 12-year-old William Wimsatt.
However, as Mr. Rivara was returning to his car, having successfully guided the ducks away from danger, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle driven by a 17-year-old girl.
According to William’s mother, Angela Wimsatt-Thomas, Mr. Rivara died at the scene. The heart-wrenching incident unfolded before the eyes of Mr. Rivara’s two children, who were waiting in the car for their father to return from his act of kindness.
“I remember the sound, and then him flying across the intersection,” recounted William, while his family expressed their deep shock and sorrow.
Investigations have revealed no evidence of the teenage driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, nor was she using a phone during the collision. No charges have been filed.
Described as an incredibly kind and amazing husband and father, Mr. Rivara’s tragic demise was emblematic of his compassion. A GoFundMe page has been set up to support his family during this difficult time.
“Casey was the kindest, most amazing husband and father,” shared his aunt, Tracey Rivara. “The family is trying to figure out how to recover and keep going after this immense loss.”
A tribute of rubber ducks and flowers has been placed near the location of the incident, symbolizing the love and gratitude felt by the community.
Mr. Rivara is survived by his two children, whom he was ferrying home from swim practice, and his wife, Ms. Angel Chow. According to his aunt’s post on the crowdfunding platform, Ms. Chow, originally from Hong Kong, met Mr. Rivara when he was 17 years old.
Mr. Rivara had recently begun working at his children’s school to be closer to them, further highlighting his dedication as a loving father.
As of Tuesday, over US$65,000 (S$87,700) had been raised to support the grieving family.