GoFundMe Surpasses $100k for Father Killed Helping Ducks Cross Road
In a heartbreaking incident that has moved a California community, a man's final act of kindness has become a poignant testament to his character. Casey Rivara, a 41-year-old father of two from Rocklin, California, tragically lost his life while helping a mother duck and her ducklings safely cross a busy intersection.
Rivara, a devoted family man who was known for his compassion and kindness, was returning from his children's swim practice when he spotted the struggling duck family. Displaying an extraordinary sense of responsibility, he halted his vehicle at a red light, ensuring the traffic from all directions was stopped, and carefully escorted the duck family to the other side.
Witnesses, including 11-year-old Jude Peterson who was watching from a carpool group after his track practice, were in awe of Rivara's compassionate act. "He did something amazing,” Peterson said, recounting how all the ducks made it safely across. However, the joy of the moment was abruptly cut short.
Having ensured the safety of the ducks, Rivara was returning to his car when another vehicle came through the intersection, striking him. The impact was severe enough to throw him into the air, and he tragically died at the scene.
Rivara leaves behind his wife, Angel Chow, his high school sweetheart whom he met when she arrived at his high school as an exchange student from Hong Kong. Their love story had spanned more than two decades, and together they had two children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son. Rivara's dedication to his family was profound, and he recently took up a job at his children's school to stay even closer to them.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Rivara's aunt, Tracey Rivara, set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to support his bereaved family. Initially aiming to raise $30,000, the fundraiser touched the hearts of many, leading to an overwhelming response from not just family and friends, but also co-workers and community members. As of the most recent update, the fundraiser has amassed a remarkable $124,775.
The driver involved in the incident, a 17-year-old girl, remained at the scene and has been cooperating with authorities. Rocklin Police Captain Scott Horrillo has reported that while investigations are ongoing, there currently appears to be no criminal negligence involved in the incident.
A memorial has since been erected at the accident site, adorned with flowers and toy rubber ducks – a symbol of Rivara's final act of kindness. This gesture echoes the sentiments of many in the community and beyond who have been moved by Rivara's selflessness.
Rivara's wife, Chow, has spoken about the immense outpouring of love and support they have received, stating, "It’s truly humbling to hear how Casey has positively impacted your lives, and we’re extremely grateful for that." This heartrending incident serves as a reminder of the inherent kindness in humanity, and the lasting impact of selfless acts on the lives of others.