US truck driver tries to hit pedestrians, dies after fight

Hawthorne, California (file photo).

Doug Kerr/Flickr

Hawthorne, California (file photo).

A US man died after he tried to hit people on a footpath with his truck, crashed against a building and then was pulled out and beaten by the group in Southern California, authorities said.

The man was asked to leave a business in Hawthorne early Saturday (Sunday NZ time) and then argued with someone while walking to his truck, said Lieutenant Hugo Reynaga of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The man then intentionally drove the truck onto the sidewalk, nearly hitting a group of patrons before his truck wedged against a tree, the Daily Breeze reported.

As the patrons tried to take the man out of the driver’s seat, he accelerated again and hit the corner of a nearby building, Reynaga said.

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The patrons took the driver out of the truck and continued fighting with him as Hawthorne police arrived, sheriff’s Deputy Grace Medrano said.

The driver suffered blunt-force trauma, Medrano said.

He died at the scene.

The incident was captured on surveillance video, but the footage was grainy and the fight occurred behind the truck partially out of view, Reynaga said.

“You could see there was a fight going on, but you couldn’t tell who was doing what,” he told the newspaper.

Most of the people involved in the fight were interviewed by detectives and then released, pending the result of an autopsy.

Detectives were waiting for the results of the autopsy to see if the man may have suffered a medical issue during the fight that led to his death, Reynaga said, adding that the crashes “weren’t that impactful.”

The driver was identified only as a man in his 40s.