Crown Point crash kills 2: newlywed Good Samaritan, teacher hit by 3 cars

December 16, 2013 (HOBART, Ind.)

William Riley Knight, 49, and his new wife, Nicole, were on their way home from their wedding reception when they stopped to help Linda Darlington, 42, whose car had gone into a ditch around 12 a.m. Sunday on 109th Avenue near Lane Street. Knight and Darlington were struck by three cars as they walked on the side of the road. They were headed to Knight's vehicle, which was parked in a nearby driveway with Nicole inside.

"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."

Police say alcohol was not a factor. Police say no citations were issued to the three drivers involved in the crash. All of them, like the victims, are from Crown Point.

Superintendent: Our hearts are broken

Darlington was a first-grade teacher at Joan Martin School. On Monday, counselors were at the Hobart school to talk to students and staff about the loss. Substitutes were also called in to take over the classes of teachers who were closest to Darlington.

"Our hearts are broken," Hobart Supt. Dr. Peggy Buffington said of Darlington, who taught at the school for two years.

"She would always write things like, 'How am I so lucky? Aren't these kids great! I have the best job in the world,'" Joan Martin Principal Kacey Allen said.

"I lost one of my closest friends. I've only known her for a year but it doesn't feel like a year. I could tell her anything," teacher Rhiannon Jolliff said.

"She contacted me every day. Just to say hi. Just to be silly. We were workout buddies. We worked out with the same people. Had so much fun together," Kim Barbison, art teacher, said.

Darlington is survived by three children.

Friends: Veteran always wanted to help

Family and friends of Knight say he committed his life to helping others.

"He died doing what he does. That's who he was and how he was. He sees somebody he tries to help -- even on his wedding day," said friend Rob Biella. "He was very outgoing, always wanting to help somebody... He was good to be around my kids. I'm glad they got to know him."

"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.

Knight was a U.S. Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division for about 12 years.

"He loved his country, his loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his craft, he loved doing whatever he was doing," friend Angie Lowe said.

Knight is survived by his wife, two young daughters, a stepdaughter and a stepson.

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