Residents of a Monterey Park neighborhood mourned the loss of a beloved school crossing guard who was struck and killed by a car Tuesday.
Abel Castellanos, 76, died after the crash, which happened about 3:40 p.m. at Garfield Avenue and Elmgate Street, where Monterey Park Fire Station 42 is located, according to the Monterey Park Police Department.
The 19-year-old driver of the convertible Ford Mustang stayed at the scene. The teen’s mother, who was in the passenger seat, suffered injuries to her arm.
CHP officials said the driver may have swerved to avoid another car and slammed into the corner where the crossing guard was sitting.
The LA Cororners Office confirmed the victim's identity early Wednesday. Castellanos was a Monterey Park resident who lived near the scene of the accident.
Mourners placed candles, flowers and a teddy bear on the corner to mark the spot where the crossing guard was killed. A not there said, “Thank you! You kept me safe as a kid. Thank you! On behalf of all of us kids.”
Matthew Lewis said he spoke with the crossings guard every day after work. He said the victim always seemed happy.
"I can honestly say I didn't come across him once when he wasn't happy," Lewis said. "He would always be there, and it's shocking that he's not going to be here no more."