73-year-old man sacrifices himself saving wife from being struck by truck


A 73-year-old Army veteran died pushing his wife out of harm's way in a fatal hit-and-run crash.

MCCLELLAN PARK, CA — A 73-year-old Army veteran died pushing his wife out of harm’s way in a fatal hit-and-run crash.

The collision happened Tuesday morning at the intersection of Palm Street and Arnold Avenue at McClellan Park, the former Air Force base.

The hit-and-run driver’s 2006 to 2011 silver Toyota Tacoma in a photo provided by the CHP.

California Highway Patrol officials said the couple was making their way to a dentist appointment when they crossed the street, which had no pedestrian crosswalk, and 2006 to 2011 silver Toyota Tacoma was headed straight for them.

“He saw the vehicle coming and he pushed her out of the way,” said CHP Officer Mike Zerfas.

CHP officials said the man was able to knock his wife to safety but ended up taking the full brunt of the truck’s impact. The pickup truck immediately took off after the collision.

The CHP now says the truck likely has right, front damage.

“This happened at 9 o’clock in the morning,” Zerfas said. “There’s sunlight out, traffic’s moderate, there’s really no obstructions and judging by the debris field, he had to be aware that he hit something.”

Despite medical staff nearby performing CPR, the man was pronounced dead at the scene, all in view of his wife.

“Law enforcement chaplaincy was out here and they were with her for quite a while,” said Zerfas

“Probably served in Vietnam like I did and then he dies in a freak accident like this from somebody disobeying the law. Sad,” said Air Force veteran John Williams.

Many in the area said it has been a problem intersection for some time.

“I walk in this place all the time. There’s no crosswalks,” Williams said. “Crosswalks make the driver sometimes aware, they may stop, but if there’s no crosswalk, they don’t do it.”

“Area’s like a damn racetrack,” said McClellan Worker Cassandra Flemister. “Something needs to be done. It really does.”

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