UPDATE: Police arrest suspected drunk driver accused of killing man in wheelchair

Police say they’ve arrested a driver suspected of crashing into and killing a man in a wheelchair who was pushing a cart full of his belongings across the street in the Los Altos neighborhood of Long Beach on Saturday night.

The crash was reported at 11:19 p.m. at Stearns Street and Radnor Avenue, said Long Beach Police Department Lt. Shaleana Benson.

Officers and then paramedics tried to aid the man, but he died from his injuries at the scene, police said. His name has not been released pending notification of relatives.

Police say they arrested and booked 26-year-old Joseph Maez of Long Beach on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Police allege Maez was driving a 2016 Honda Civic westbound on Stearns Street when he hit the man in the wheelchair, who was crossing Stearns in an unmarked crosswalk.

Nearby resident Isidro Ramirez said he had seen the man about three times within a month’s span recently around his neighborhood. The man would travel in a wheelchair, frequently lugging his belongings along Stearns Street’s median and sidewalks, he said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information from police and a neighbor.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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