A Northern California motorist who stopped to help a family of ducks safely cross the road was struck and killed by a teenage driver, officials said Monday.
The terrible accident happened Thursday at about 8:15 p.m. PDT near the corner of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Road in Rocklin, about 25 miles northeast of the state capitol in Sacramento, Rocklin police said.
The man was "trying to help some ducklings that were in the intersection" when the younger driver, headed east on Stanford Ranch, fatally struck him, according to a police statement.
The ducks were not harmed.
The 17-year-old girl behind the wheel remained at the scene and, while the investigation is ongoing, it's unlikely she'll face criminal charges, Rocklin police Capt. Scott Horrillo said.
"We still have a lot of areas and evidence to sort through, but at first look it does not look like there's going to be any criminal negligence," Horrillo told NBC News.
The victim was identified as 41-year-old Casey Rivara, a Placer County Sheriff's spokesperson said.
The tragedy unfolded in front of neighbors who applauded Rivara's kind efforts, a 12-year-old boy told NBC Sacramento affiliate KCRA.
“He got out of the car and was shooing the ducks and everyone was clapping because he was being really nice," the boy said. “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."
The man's widow, Angel Chow, said she's been moved by the outpouring of condolences.
"We have been deeply touched by the overwhelming love and support we’ve received for Casey Rivara and our family in these past few days," she said in statement on Sunday night. "We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for the kind messages and gestures of kindness. It’s truly humbling to hear how Casey has positively impacted your lives, and we’re extremely grateful for that."