Calexico police have distributed a photo of a 2004 to 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan, charcoal gray in color, that is believed to have been the make, model, and color of a van involved in the hit-and-run death of a 53-year-old Mexicali man on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 22. The minivan in question will be missing the black plastic undercarriage/molding of the driver’s side wheel well, which was left behind at the scene. | COURTESY IMAGE
CALEXICO — The driver of a late-model minivan is being sought by police in connection with the hit-and-run death of a Mexicali man who was struck and killed in a residential neighborhood in the early-morning hours on Tuesday, Dec. 22, according to authorities.
Although the apparently “unavoidable collision” believed to have caused the 53-year-old victim’s death might have been unintentional, the fact that the driver left the scene of a fatal accident now raises the stakes to a “felony hit and run,” Calexico Police Chief Gonzalo Gerardo said late Tuesday afternoon.
The law mandates that a driver must remain at the scene of any injury accident, Gerardo added. Given the circumstances, the minivan driver likely would have been cited and released, if even that, the chief intimated.
The unnamed victim, who was reportedly on his way to work around 4:47 a.m., was driving a Yamaha scooter north in the 1100 block of V.V. Williams Avenue when he veered slightly to the right and collided with the rear corner of a recreational trailer parked at the northbound curb of the roadway where it intersects with C. Quiroz Street, according to a Calexico Police Department press release.
“This caused the victim to lose control and fall off the scooter, coming to rest in the roadway while the scooter slid several feet ahead,” according to the release.
At that point, it appears the victim was then struck by the minivan traveling south on V.V. Williams, whose driver did not stop, leaving the victim behind, the release states.
When officers arrived at a report of a motorcyclist in the roadway, they found the man who would subsequently be pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release.
A portion of black plastic molding from the driver’s side wheel well was left behind at the scene, and officers were able to trace the model number to a 2004 or 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan, Gerardo said.
Police believe the minivan is charcoal gray in color.
Gerardo added that security footage in the area might also have captured the fatal collision, and police would be attempting to enhance the footage to try to pull a license plate number.
No further information was immediately available.
Anyone with information about the collision is being encouraged to contact Calexico police Officer Anthony Aguirre, badge No. 555, at 760-768-2140. Refer to case No. C20-19645. Callers can remain anonymous, the press release states.