IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Driver who tried to hit people with vehicle is attacked by citizens and dies

The man had just been ejected from a bar or restaurant and intentionally drove onto the sidewalk, a Los Angeles County sheriff's lieutenant said.

A motorist who drove onto a Southern California sidewalk Saturday outside a business that had just turned him away was attacked by customers and declared dead at the scene, authorities said.

His vehicle nearly hit several pedestrians, and when it came to a stop, customers pulled him out and "a physical altercation ensued," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The motorist, whose name was not released, crashed twice after driving onto the sidewalk, but no pedestrians were injured, the department said. His cause of death will be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner.

Sheriff's officials said the vehicle first struck a tree, at which point patrons tried to pull the driver out, but he was able to drive off before crashing into a building.

The events unfolded just after midnight in Hawthorne, a city near Los Angeles International Airport.

"Hawthorne Police officers saw the driver lying on the ground, suffering what appeared to be blunt force trauma," the sheriff's department said. "Paramedics provided life-saving measures, but he was pronounced deceased on scene."

The sheriff's department did not name the business, but at least two near the scene are listed as being open after midnight: A sports lounge and a fast-food restaurant. The department said the driver had been in a "verbal altercation" before being told to leave.

Sheriff's Lt. Hugo Reynaga told the Daily Breeze the driver had been ejected from the business for being a nuisance, argued with someone on his way out and intentionally tried to hit people with his vehicle.

Reynaga said multiple people who were involved in pulling the man out of the vehicle were interviewed by authorities at the scene before being released.

Hawthorne has its own police department, but the sheriff's department assists with most of its homicide cases.