CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The family of the young man killed while riding a motorized scooter in the South Bay spoke to FOX 5 Wednesday.
Police said Esteban Galindo, 26, was riding a Bird scooter when he was hit by a car around 4 a.m. Saturday. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His family said he was not wearing a helmet.
“It’s tragic that this is happening to our family but on that Saturday, God received an angel,” his cousin Mexi Morales said. “The holiday cheer right now is missing because he brought it. He really did."
A Bird spokesperson told FOX 5 this is the first rider that has been killed globally while riding a Bird scooter. Bird added that its scooters are not supposed to be operated or made available to riders between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Bird sent the following statement to FOX 5:
“We are deeply saddened for those impacted by this tragic accident and our hearts go out to the victim’s friends and family. We are working closely with law enforcement on the investigation and currently understand that the victim was on a Bird that he had taken without permission and was subsequently struck by a car.”
Bird officials said to their understanding, the victim took the scooter from a charger without their knowledge.
“My heart has never felt this much pain ever. I wanted to be angry at somebody but I knew it was an accident. It’s just God’s natural selection. It was just an accident,” Morales said.
The family is leaning on each other trying to cope with their loss. There are a lot of tears, but also smiles when they look back on the memories made with the adventurous young man known for his cooking and huge heart.
“His heart was pure and he was a genuine soul. He will always be remembered,” his cousin Claudia Lemus said.
Family said Galindo was an only child and is survived by his mom. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her.
Police said the driver involved in the crash did stop and is cooperating with detectives.