San Diego

Family Remembers ‘Old Man With the Hat' Fatally Struck in Chula Vista

The victim's son Bobby Guel had kind words for the drivers who stayed at the scene.

The family of a 90-year old man struck and killed in Chula Vista last week said he was affectionately known as the "old man with the hat."

Juan Guel, who regularly donned his trademark Stetson hat, was hit by two cars and died instantly on Friday, Feb. 9. The accident happened around 6 p.m. at the busy intersection of East H Street and Buena Vista Way.

His son Bobby Guel told NBC 7 that his father was at fault because he crossed into traffic during a red light.

His father moved to Chula Vista four years ago after seeing a decline in his health. Bobby said he owned a bar on the south side of Chicago for 50 years. Recently, Juan began showing signs of dementia.

He would take daily walks to a nearby strip mall and was about one tenth of a mile from his home when he was fatally struck.

The drivers of the two vehicles that hit Juan stayed at the accident scene. Bobby offered words of comfort to those drivers.

"I'm sorry that you have to live with that. It wasn't your fault," Bobby said. "It happened. It's unfortunate. I just want you to have peace. It was a terrible accident."

Contact Us