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Redlands Police Release Video of Suspect Vehicle in Hit-and-Run That Killed Beloved Crossing Guard

Redlands police released surveillance video Wednesday in the search for the driver who fatally struck a man riding a motorized scooter before fleeing the scene a day earlier.

About 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, officers were called to the scene of the crash, where they found 48-year-old Leonard Gilberto Ortiz in full cardiac arrest and suffering from severe injuries, according to police.

After being treated by paramedics at the scene, Ortiz was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center, police said.

He was later pronounced dead.

Ortiz was a well-liked crossing guard at a Redlands elementary school located not far from the crash, according to Redlands Daily Facts.

He waved and greeted "everyone he met," the newspaper reported.

The vehicle suspected of hitting him is described by police as a dark, possibly charcoal gray or silver SUV that is a 2003 to 2009 Toyota Sequoia or has a similar style to that vehicle.

The vehicle had traveled west on Lugonia Avenue and turned onto southbound Orange Street in the minutes leading up to the crash, police determined after reviewing surveillance video from businesses in the area.

The 11-second clip released by police shows the SUV driving alongside a parking lot filled with vehicles.

Parents at the elementary school where Ortiz worked were shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden death, Redlands Daily Facts reported.

"His soul radiated goodness and you could see that from a mile away," one parent, Rebekah Johnson, told the newspaper.

"He was always kind and had a smile for people and you never know, for some, that may be the only smile they get at all."

Anyone with information about the vehicle or the collision is asked to contact police at 909-798-7681, ext. 1.