Lyft Driver Killed in New Year's Day Crash

The driver of the other car was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

A 21-year-old Lyft driver was killed in a suspected DUI crash in Hawthorne, California, on New Year's Day, according to police.

The Torrance man, identified as Thor Anderson, was broadsided by a 21-year-old Infiniti driver about 2:55 a.m. near the intersection of 120th Street and Doty Avenue.

The driver, Arturo Martinez Conchas, of Hawthorne, hit the side of Anderson's 2015 black Ford Fusion with his red 2003 coupe, according to police.

Witness Manuel Felix said he heard the cars collide in front of his home.

"This guy driving was kind of scared," Felix said. "I heard him say, 'I hope he's not dead.'"

Conchas was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of illegal drugs.

Anderson died at the scene.

"I'm just kind of not ready to let him go," said his father, Ronald Anderson, as he wiped away tears. "Just seems almost unreal that he's gone."

Before the crash, Thor Anderson told his father he was excited to work New Year's Eve because he would make a lot of money. Ronald Anderson said his son helped support the family by working for Lyft.

"He said, 'I'm happy doing what I'm doing,'" Ronald Anderson said. "He would comfort me a lot by being a good son."

In their last conversation, the two had planned to meet for breakfast. They spoke just an hour before Thor Anderson was killed.

Almost a dozen people who knew him gathered at the crash site Friday night, where candles and pink mustaches — part of the ride-sharing company's original branding — decorated the sidewalk.

After treatment at a hospital, Conchas was taken to jail at the Hawthorne Police Department and was being held on $100,000 bail. Information on an attorney for Conchas was not immediately available.

"The Hawthorne Police Department extends its condolences to the family and friends of the victim," the Hawthorne Police Department said in a statement after the crash.

Lyft also released a statement expressing sympathy.

"Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones affected by this tragic accident. Thor was an important member of the Lyft community and we are very saddened to hear this news. We will support authorities in the ongoing investigation and help in any way we can," a spokeswoman said. 

NBC4 previously interviewed Anderson on Dec. 23 for a story on ride-share services being allowed to pick up clients at LAX.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit the family.

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