Skip to content

Man Fatally Hit by Car While Helping Ducks Cross Road

A California man was killed while trying to do a good deed.

A California father tragically died while helping a family of ducks cross the road last week. Casey Rivara was fatally hit by a car, according to police and witnesses who are speaking out about the horrific incident. The crash happened a few miles outside of Sacramento just after 8:00 p.m. and a 17-year-old driver allegedly struck the man KCRA reports who is cooperating with police. Rivara leaves behind his wife and two kids.

The Dad Was Driving His Kids Home From Swim Practice

Rivara was on his way home from swim practice when he saw a family of ducks and got out to help. According to a GoFundMe page set up by his aunt Tracey Rivara, he "was driving his children home after the kids' swim practice when they saw a mama duck and ducklings struggling to cross a busy intersection. Casey got out of the car to help the ducks safely across the road. However, when he was heading back to the car, he was tragically struck by a car and passed away at the scene."

"His Family Was Casey's World"


Rivara and his wife Angel were together for 23 years and loved creating a family, his aunt wrote. "Casey met Angel, the love of his life, at age 17, when she joined his high school as an exchange student from Hong Kong. They quickly fell madly in love and remained inseparable partners for the past 23 years." She went on to share that the couple have two children Sophia (11) and James (6)," and that "his family was Casey's world." In addition, he just started working at their school "to remain even closer to them."

The Driver Remained at the Scene

Rocklin Police Department

The Rocklin Police Department released a statement and said, "The driver remained at the scene of the collision. Emergency first responders arrived to assist, however the man died at the scene." The police added, "No arrest was made, and the incident is still under investigation."

12-Year-Old Boy Who Witnessed the Crash Speaks Out


William Wimsatt was in the car with his mom and recalls thinking how thoughtful the man, who was unidentified at the, was for helping the ducks cross the street safely. "He got out of the car and was shooing the ducks and everyone was clapping because he was being really nice," Wimsatt told the local news outlet. 

Other Cars Waiting Until the Ducks Were Safe

Although Rivara is the only one who got out to help, other drivers cooperated by staying in their cars, even when the light was green, until the ducks safely made it across the road. "He helped them get up over the curb because all the little baby duckies were having trouble and then he walked in front of our car," Wimsatt remembered. 

​​Onlookers Cheered on the Man

Wimsatt was so impressed with Rivara's act of kindness that he whipped out his phone and snapped photos of him walking behind the ducks. People were applauding and Wimsatt shared, "My mom rolled down the window and said, 'Good job, good job,' and I said, 'Good job' to him too and then right after that, the second after that," he said the car hit him.

Witness Saw Rivara Fly Across the Intersection


Wimsatt didn't see the moment of impact, but he did see the aftermath of the crash–something he won't ever forget. "I didn't see the car actually hit him. All I remember is the sound and then him flying across the intersection," he said. "His shoes and one of his socks were right in front of our car." Fortunately he said his younger sister was focused on the ducks and didn't see anything.

A Witness Tried to Comfort Rivara's Kids


Rivara's children were in the backseat and saw when their father was fatally hit by another driver. Wimsatt told KCRA that his mother ran to the man's vehicle and tried to comfort his children who kept asking for their dad. 

Rivara Didn't Deserve This


Wimsatt is devastated not only by what he witnessed, but feels horrible for Rivara and his family. He wants people to know that he didn't deserve what happened. "He was the only person to get out of the car and try and help them and probably the nicest person in the entire area. It's not fair," he said.

People Are leaving Rubber Ducks at the Scene

After news broke about the accident, people have made a makeshift memorial at the site of the crash and left rubber ducks to honor Rivara who lost his life. Summer Peterson was one of the mourners leaving flowers at the scene and told KOVR her children were also witnesses. "They were saying, 'Oh, it's so cute. It's so nice of him.' And then all of a sudden he was hit by a car." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •