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Man Dies After Being Thrown From Wheelchair By Hit-And-Run Driver In Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — A man who was knocked out of a wheelchair by a hit-and-run driver in Costa Mesa has died, police said Friday.

Costa Mesa police officers called to the intersection of Newport Boulevard and Industrial Way at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday night found a man who had been thrown from his wheelchair.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital with "significant injuries" and later died, police said. He was identified as 50-year-old Richard Smith of Newport Beach, according to police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad.

Police are working to find the driver, who left the crash without helping the man. The suspect vehicle is described as a 2009-2010 black Toyota Highlander with front-end damage. Investigators are asking for witnesses, or for businesses or residents in the area of Newport Boulevard and Industrial Way with video footage, to come forward.

Anyone with information or may have seen the suspect can contact Costa Mesa police traffic Investigator Luis Gomez (714) 754-5264.

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