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BREAKING NEWS: Homeless man, who was known as “Cowboy,” dies.

A longtime member of Laguna Beach’s homeless population died after a minivan struck him Saturday night on Laguna Canyon Road.

Charles Reginald Conwell, 58, better known as “Cowboy,” was believed to be on his way to the alternative sleeping site for the homeless at ACT V. He was not in the crosswalk when the van hit him, Laguna Beach police said. The van was driven by a Mission woman with her four children in the vehicle. She was not cited, but the investigation is ongoing, police Sgt. Jason Kravetz said.

Conwell and two companions had been dropped off by an Orange County Transportation bus sometime after 6 p.m. The two companions crossed the roadway in a crosswalk. Conwell walked further along the side of the road before attempting to cross.

The companions indicated that they were heading for ACT V when the accident occurred, Kravetz said.


“They heard but they didn’t see the crash, but they waited until police arrived,” Kravetz said.

Conwell was taken to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach where he died. According to the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner’s website, the accident occurred at 6:34 p.m., and Conwell died at 7:19 p.m.

“Cowboy was a familiar face in Laguna,” Kravetz said. “He had been here at least since the mid-1980s.”

— Barbara Diamond