The death of a Pasadena City College professor who was struck by a vehicle involved in a street race while jogging with his dog and girlfriend in San Marino was preventable and avoidable, Mayor Steven Huang said Friday.
"This was not an accident but the result of two juveniles entering our city, racing each other resulting in the death of an innocent man," Huang told City News Service.
Coroner's officials did not immediately release the victim's name, but friends identified him to reporters as Gabriel Crispo, who taught English as a second language. Around 10:35 a.m. on Independence Day, the man was struck on Huntington Drive near Kenilworth Avenue, San Marino police Detective Vince Wilson said.
Top news of the day
"Two vehicles were seen traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Huntington Drive approaching Kenilworth Avenue," Wilson said. "Witnesses stated the two vehicles appeared to be racing. The two vehicles collided, causing one of them to lose control, striking the pedestrian and his dog in the center median."
Two 17-year-old boys who were allegedly involved in the street race were taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, Sgt. Robert Matthews of the San Marino Police Department said.
"This is a day where we normally celebrate the birth of our nation, a day we celebrate with family, friends and our community," Huang said. "But instead three families now mourn the loss of an innocent man and the changed lives of two juveniles who now must live with this tragedy for the rest of their lives."
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Wilson said.
The San Marino Police Department "has planned and will plan additional traffic enforcement details focusing on speeding and unsafe driving" and "begin a traffic education program for all residents and especially, our younger drivers residing and attending our schools," in response to the fatality, Huang said.
SMPD Chief John N. Incontro has met with San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates to plan a safety event, focusing on pedestrian, bicycle and driving safety, Huang said.
Huang said he is working with City Manager Marcella Marlowe and the city's Public Safety Commission to develop a traffic safety plan for the city.
Marlowe "will direct our various city departments, including the police and public works to develop a strategy to ensure this type of incident will not reoccur in San Marino," Huang said.
Anyone with information on the accident was urged to call Wilson at 626-300-0728 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).