72-year-old man on bus bench struck, killed in Santa Ana hit-and-run crash

ByABC7.com staff via KABC logo
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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A 72-year-old man sitting on a bus bench with his wife was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in Santa Ana on Tuesday.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A 72-year-old man was killed and his 68-year-old wife was injured after a car slammed into the bus bench they were sitting on in Santa Ana on Tuesday.

The crash happened shortly before 5 a.m. in the 2500 block of West McFadden Avenue near Center Street, in front of Jerome Park.

"The suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound on McFadden when for some reason, it crossed the lanes of westbound, hit the curb, drove up on the sidewalk, striking the bus bench with our two victims on it," described Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with Santa Ana police.

The sheer force of the crash sent the bench, which was bolted to the ground, flying clear across the intersection.

According to Santa Ana police, Dien Van Le, 72, died of his injuries at a local hospital while his wife suffered multiple broken bones. She was transported to the hospital, where she was reported to be in serious but stable condition.

Le and his wife lived in a Buddhist temple across the street from the scene of the crash. Le had worked as the temple's caretaker for about 10 years. It was unknown where the two were headed Tuesday morning.

Police initially thought they located the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run near Monta Vista Avenue and Townsend Street, but they had the wrong car.

Witnesses said after the crash, the suspect pulled a U-turn in a parking lot, then drove past the victims.

Police said the suspect stopped to look at the victims and then drove away at a high rate of speed, never exiting the car or stopping to render aid.

A description of the suspect was not available, but police say based on the car parts left behind at the scene of the crash, the suspect's vehicle may be a Nissan SUV in a dark color, possibly black or dark gray, with moderate front-end damage.

The driver faces vehicular man slaughter charges. If you have any information about this incident, you're urged to contact Orange County Crimestoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.