MARTINEZ, Calif. – A 29-year-old man has been hospitalized after being run over by an unoccupied truck left running by his father during a neighborhood fight Thursday afternoon.
Witnesses said the injured man might have been run over a second time except for the actions of the man the father had attacked.
Martinez Police Officer Rocco Lucido responded to a report of a major injury collision about 1 p.m. Thursday on Saxon Street and Kelly Avenue, Chief Manjit Sappal said.
“There was a fight between two neighbors,” he said. One was a 74-year-old man who was driving a truck and accompanied by his 29-year-old son.
The father began arguing with a 30-year-old neighbor, and the father then reached out of the truck and punched the younger neighbor, who fought back, he said.
The driver then left his truck to continue the fight, but failed to put the vehicle in park to prevent its movement, Sappal said.
“The vehicle then rolled away and ran over the driver’s son, who was en route to assist in the fight,” Sappal said.
After rolling over the son, the truck then went through a garage door of a Kelly Avenue home, he said.
When he reached his truck, the driver backed up his vehicle, nearly running over his son a second time, Sappal said. But the other man in the fight dragged the son to safety, he said.
The son was taken to John Muir Medical Center for treatment, Sappal said, adding that his department is conducting an investigation of the incident.
A neighbor, Bernadette McKinnon, has publicly praised both Martinez Police and Contra Costa Fire Protection District on social media for their quick response to calls reporting the incident.
McKinnon said she was in her back yard when she heard shouting, and was one of the callers reporting the incident.
She said the 30-yer-old and a child were riding minibikes. They had paused by a driveway, waiting on the truck driver before the fracas took place, she said.
The truck driver told the riders to get off their bikes, then the driver punched the adult bike rider through the truck window, she said.
After the truck rolled over the driver’s son, it traveled on, “taking out a garage door and porch frame of the house on Kelly Avenue,” she said.
She joined in crediting the adult minibike rider with preventing the driver’s son from being struck a second time after his father re-entered the vehicle.
“It was freaky,” she said. “What a thing to go off on the holidays.”