Man Arrested on Suspicion of DUI After Wheelchair-Bound Pedestrian Is Struck and Killed in Long Beach
A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he allegedly struck and killed a man in a wheelchair in Long Beach Thursday.
The crash occurred about 8:05 p.m. near the intersection of Bellflower Boulevard and Harvey Way.
Responding Long Beach police officers found the victim, a 29-year-old man, on the street. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead, police said.
The driver in the crash, Jesus Jorge Arias, allegedly first fled the scene but eventually returned in his 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He admitted to being involved in the crash, police said.
A preliminary investigation determined that Arias was driving north on Bellflower Boulevard and proceeded through the intersection at Harvey Way. The man in the wheelchair, who has not been identified, was trying to cross Bellflower Boulevard in the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection when he was allegedly struck by Arias, police said.
Arias was followed from the scene by a witness on a motorcycle, the Long Beach Post reported. The witness told the newspaper that he urged Arias to return to the scene because he hit a pedestrian.
“Everyone was screaming, and when I told him what he did, I saw tears fly out of his eyes at that point,” Da Veiga told the newspaper.
The witness, Mike Da Veiga, told the newspaper that the man in the wheelchair crossed the street against a red light and was using his foot to push himself backward through the crosswalk. Police are still working to determine if the victim was crossing against a red light, the Post reported.
Da Veiga said Arias had two small children in the Jeep with him at the time of the crash.
Arias, of Lakewood, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run. He also did not have a valid license, police said. He is being held on $100,000 bail.