Costa Mesa police looking for suspect in hit-and-run collision that killed man in wheelchair

A 50-year-old Newport Beach man was struck and killed Thursday night by a hit-and-run driver in Costa Mesa, police report.
(Daily Pilot Staff)

Costa Mesa police are on the lookout for the driver of a Toyota SUV who allegedly struck and killed a 50-year-old man in a wheelchair near the intersection of Newport Boulevard and Industrial Way Thursday night before fleeing the scene.

Officers were dispatched to the scene of a hit-and-run collision shortly after 11:30 p.m. and arrived to find the victim had been knocked out of his wheelchair and sustained significant injuries, according to a release issued Friday by the Costa Mesa Police Department.

The man — whom a sheriff’s spokeswoman on Friday identified as Richard Harold Smith, of Newport Beach — was transported to a nearby hospital but later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

CMPD’s Major Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene Thursday and are investigating the incident. Police describe the vehicle as a black Toyota Highlander, possibly a 2009 or 2010 model. It is believed the vehicle sustained front-end damage from the collision.

Anyone who may have additional information that can assist in identifying the suspect or witnesses who may have seen the vehicle at or near the scene, as well as nearby businesses that may have video surveillance cameras of the area, are asked to call traffic investigator Luis Gomez at (714) 754-5264.

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