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Oculus Rift co-founder killed by speeding car

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Andrew Reisse (Credit: ABC News)

Andrew Scott Reisse, the 33 year-old co-founder of the company that makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, was struck and killed in a Santa Ana crosswalk Thursday by a car that was attempting to avoid the police.

KABC reports that a car allegedly driven by 21-year old Victor Sanchez struck two other cars and ran through several red lights -- including the crosswalk where Reisse was walking -- in a high-speed chase. Sanchez and two other suspects in the car were taking into custody. Police say all are gang members on probation with outstanding warrants. Reisse died at the scene.

Oculus VR brought in grief counselors to help employees with the shocking news. Some at the company have reportedly known Reisse since college and have worked with him at multiple companies.

"Andrew's contributions span far and wide in the video game industry," the company said in a statement. "His code is embedded in thousands of games played by millions of people around the world. Words can not express how sorely he will be missed or how deeply our sympathy runs for his family."

Reisse wasn't particularly well known to gamers, but his untimely death is still a huge loss to the video game and virtual reality industries.

The Rift has been a subject of fascination since its debut last year. While virtual reality gaming has had innumerable false starts, Oculus' creation has managed to break through barriers, letting players immerse themselves in worlds that previously only existed on rectangular screens in front of them. While the headset is technically still in the development stage, early backers and developers have been singing its praises since getting their hands on it. Even Mythbuster's Jamie Hyneman was captivated.

Reisse's death likely won't slow down the system's momentum, but it's devastating to think about the numerous other contributions he could have made -- and even sadder to realize he won't see the public debut of the system he helped create.

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