Elderly California Man Killed While Saving His Wife from Pickup Truck Hit-and-run

A 73-year-old man was killed in California after pushing his wife out of the path of a pickup truck. California Highway Patrol told KCRA 3 that the hit-and-run occurred on Tuesday morning in Sacramento County at around 9 a.m.

The elderly man's wife was unharmed, thanks to her husband. The pickup truck driver who struck the unidentified man fled the scene, KCRA 3 reported.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Zerfas told KCRA 3: "My understanding from witness statements is that he actually pushed her out of the way."

He later said the incident took place in daylight hours, remarking: "There's no reason that the driver should not have seen pedestrians in the roadway."

"The vehicle fled, driving eastbound on Palm and made a right turn at Watt Avenue," he said in a video interview with KCRA 3, encouraging the driver to turn themselves in to law enforcement.

Newsweek contacted the California Highway Patrol for further information but could not get through to a media officer.

In another shocking California hit-and-run case this year, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor was struck dead by a Los Angeles driver in June. Gennady Bolotsky was hit by a truck in Valley Village on June 17 shortly after 5:30 a.m.

The local fire department found Bolotsky alive when they arrived on the scene of the crime, but he later died from his injuries in hospital. Police arrested a woman over the incident in July. She was held on a felony hit-and-run charge.

The National Safety Council revealed in February that 2018 marked the third consecutive year in which the United States recorded at least 40,000 deaths on roads, according to preliminary estimates by the non-profit. America last experienced such a phenomenon during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Congress-chartered body claimed.

NSC estimates also found that approximately 4.5 million people in the U.S. were "seriously injured" in crashes last year, adding that eight states saw road fatalities rise by at least 5.8 percent while five saw fatal traffic accidents plunge by more than 9.4 percent.

Motor vehicle deaths in California rose from 3,564 fatalities in 2017 to 3,651 in 2018, marking a 2.4 per cent increase year-on-year, according to figures compiled by Statista.

The number of nationwide road deaths fell by a marginal 1 percent, or 231 fatalities, in 2018, according to NSC estimates. The non-profit's chief operating officer Nick Smith described the number of roadway deaths as "simply unacceptable" back in February.