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Hit-and-run driver kills man in wheelchair

December 2, 2009 12:56:10 AM PST
Alhambra police said a hit-and-run driver killed an elderly man in a wheelchair on Tuesday. The victim was dragged several feet, but the car never stopped.The body of 78-year-old Shih-Saing Ho was found inside a tunnel at 6th Street and Ramona Road at about 1 p.m., and his mangled wheelchair was nearby.

Someone called 911, but Ho was dead by the time police arrived.

Police said Ho was familiar with the area and was a longtime Alhambra resident, often visiting his sister, who also lived in the area. Ho was heading home from his sister's house when he was struck from behind. Given the extensive damage to the wheelchair, police said the driver must have known that they hit someone.

"It was pretty well demolished," said Alhambra Police Sgt. Brandon Black. "It had been flattened, it had been disassembled by the impact. Personally, I have never seen one in that bad a condition after an accident."

People who live in the area said Ho would often ride his motorized wheelchair down the road instead of the sidewalk, likely because the ride was smoother. However, the ride was more dangerous because visibility was lower in the dark tunnel.

Black said Ho should not have been riding in the traffic lanes.

"It's understandable why this took place, but what's puzzling to us is why the person, after this had happened, didn't stop and either call the police or render aid or do something," Black said.

The suspect's vehicle likely has moderate damage to the front passenger side.

"It serves as a good reminder that if you're involved in a traffic collision and the worst thing that can happen when you're involved in the traffic collision is you might be filed at fault. It doesn't mean you're going to jail. It doesn't mean you've committed a crime. It's a traffic accident. When you flee the scene, it becomes a crime. If there's an injury to the other car, it becomes a felony," explained Black.

Police are hoping to hear from witnesses to collect more information on the hit-and-run driver. Anyone with information related to this case is urged to call Alhambra Police at (626) 570-5151.


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