Police are asking for the public’s help in finding two drivers who hit and killed a man in Santa Ana on Saturday.
Witnesses told police that the pedestrian, identified as Jose Javier Diaz, was crossing the street when a white Chevrolet truck hit him. Diaz landed in the southbound lanes when he was struck by another car, a late model green Ford Mustang convertible with a black top. Neither motorist stopped.
Diaz’ brother, Arthur Diaz, said Jose went wherever the wind blew.
He said 55-year-old Jose Diaz was a Vietnam veteran and had been moving west from Chicago for many years. But after the war, he said his brother was never the same.
"He never went to school for anything, but he could do carpentry. He could do plumbing. He could do roofing," Arthur Diaz told NBC4 during a phone interview. "He could do whatever you wanted him to do, and he did it very well. The only thing that kept him from progressing was his alcoholism."
Police said authorities are investigating which driver caused his death.
"They’re both liable for the hit and run," said Commander Tammy Franks with the Santa Ana Police Department. "As far as which one caused the death, I’m not aware of that. The coroner will have to determine that."
On South Broadway, neighbors remember a man who would cross this busy street many times a day.
"He was a great guy. He would tell a lot of stories," said neighbor Alfredo Gonzalez. "He was smart. He seemed like he had a drinking problem, but he didn’t bother anybody."
Other nearby residents said they hope the drivers come back. They hope that those responsible realize a man is dead and that they face a felony.
"I think they are cowards," said neighbor Oscar Pacindo. "It’s not the decent thing to do. Everyone has loved ones out here. And, if that happened to my loved one, I would be disappointed too."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Santa Ana Police Department at (714) 245-8701.