• The accident occurred in front of several people as they were applauding the man's efforts
  • A witness said the ducks were safe in the aftermath of the accident
  • Authorities said they were investigating the incident

A Northern California man was struck and killed by a teenage driver after he stopped to help a family of ducks safely cross the road.

The incident took place on May 18 shortly after 8 p.m. near the corner of Park Drive and Stanford Ranch Road in Rocklin, LA Times reported.

Forty-one-year-old Casey Rivara was "trying to help some ducklings that were in the intersection" when a 17-year-old female driver fatally struck him, a police statement noted. He died of his injuries before he was taken to a hospital.

The tragic accident took place in front of several people who were applauding Rivara's efforts to help the ducks cross the road. A witness said that the ducks had safely reached the other side of the road before the man was struck.

Meanwhile, the female driver remained at the scene as an investigation was underway. Rocklin police Captain Scott Horrillo said it's unlikely the girl will face criminal charges.

"We still have a lot of areas and evidence to sort through, but at first look, it does not look like there's going to be any criminal negligence," Horrillo told NBC News. "Our major accident investigation team is analyzing the data and witness statements of what transpired.

A 12-year-old boy, who witnessed the kindhearted gesture, took photos of the man with his phone as he helped the ducks in front of his mother's car.

"He got out of the car and was shooing the ducks and everyone was clapping because he was being really nice," the boy told KCRA. "He helped them get up over the curb because all the little baby duckies were having trouble and then he walked in front of our car."

While he didn't see the actual accident, the boy added hearing a sound and then saw the man flying across the intersection.

"I didn't see the car actually hit him. All I remember is the sound and then him flying across the intersection," he added. "His shoes and one of his socks were right in front of our car."

Another woman, Summer Peterson, told KOVR that her child witnessed the tragedy unfold.

"They were saying, 'Oh, it's so cute. It's so nice of him.' And then all of a sudden he was hit by a car," she said.

Meanwhile, Rivara's widow, Angel Chow, expressed gratitude for the condolences received from people.

"We have been deeply touched by the overwhelming love and support we've received for Casey Rivara and our family in these past few days," she said in a Facebook statement Sunday. "We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for the kind messages and gestures of kindness. It's truly humbling to hear how Casey has positively impacted your lives, and we're extremely grateful for that."

Ducks huddle under a Houston bench
Ducks huddle under a Houston bench AFP / Mark Felix