2 dead in Indiana roadside crash; Man, woman he tried to help, run over by passing cars

A wedding night ends in tragedy in northwest Indiana when a newly married man is struck and killed by a car, and the woman he stopped to help also dies when three cars run them over on the side of a road.
December 15, 2013 8:14:37 PM PST
A wedding night ends in tragedy in northwest Indiana when a newly married man is struck and killed by a car, and the woman he stopped to help also dies when three cars run them over on the side of a road.

William Riley Knight was on the way home from his wedding reception when he stopped to help a woman whose car had gone into a ditch just before midnight along 109th Avenue near Lane Street in Crown Point, Indiana.

Investigators are calling the crash that claimed the lives of good Samaritan Knight and motorist Linda Darlington a tragic accident, this as family and friends of Knight remember him as a man who committed his life to helping others.

Knight died just hours after his own wedding when he was struck and killed as he stopped to help motorist in distress.

"He was very outgoing, always wanting to help somebody," said friend Rob Biella. "He was good to be around my kids. I'm glad they got to know him."

It happened late Saturday night as the 49-year-old drove to a hotel with his new wife Nikki.

That's when the couple saw Linda Darlington's car go off the road near 109th and Lane Street into a ditch.

Knight parked in a nearby driveway while Nikki stayed in the car.

"One of the first vehicles was coming eastbound and struck both individuals," said John Buncich, Lake County Sheriff. "A car right behind them, the first vehicle, also struck the two, and unfortunately a third vehicle that eastbound also struck the couple.

Police say alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

"Our officers were back at the scene again (Sunday) morning when the daylight hours and we will be doing further workup as far as the road conditions and everything else," Buncich said.

Darlington, 42, who like Knight was from Crown Point, Indiana died at the scene. She taught at Joan Martin School in Hobart, and Sunday night was renowned for using technology to inspire her students.

"She was an incredible teacher who was filled with such joy at helping children succeed," said Dr. Peggy Buffington, Hobart Superintendent. "She had amazing ideas. She will always be remembered for her love of children and providing excellence in education."

Knight, who went by his middle name Riley, served as a U.S. Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division for about 12 years tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm.

Angie Lowe first met Knight when he was a kid and participated in her theater group.

"He loved his country, his loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his craft, he loved doing whatever he was doing," she said.

Police say no citations were issued to the three drivers involved in the crash. Those three drivers are all from Crown Point.

Knight is survived by his new wife and their blended family, which include his two young daughters, a step-daughter and a step-son.


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