Police were searching for a hit-and-run driver who jumped a curb in Santa Ana Tuesday morning and plowed into a senior couple sitting at a bus stop, killing the husband.
The driver was heading eastbound on McFadden Avenue about 4:35 a.m. when it veered onto the sidewalk near Center Street and struck the couple on the bench, then took off, said Cmdr. Jeffrey Smith of the Santa Ana Police Department.
The impact was so strong the bench ended up across the street and left a nearby metal trash can crumpled.
The husband and wife, both in their late 80s, were taken to a trauma center. The husband died of his injuries while in surgery, Smith said. The wife suffered a broken arm.
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The wife told police the driver took off in what appeared to be a Jeep Cherokee, but investigators said based on the car parts left at the scene they were searching for a dark-colored Nissan SUV with moderate front-end damage.
An elder at a nearby Buddhist temple identified the husband as Dien Van Le. He said Le was the caretaker of the property. Le, the elder said, Le immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, where he was a lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Army.
Oleevia Woo contributed to this report.