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Newlywed Indiana man killed in tragic accident on way home from wedding reception

William Riley Knight and teacher he stopped to help, Linda Darlington, both killed in traffic accident.

By Evan Bleier

William Riley Knight and his new wife Nikki were heading back to a hotel after their wedding reception when the car in front of them skidded off the road and ended up in a ditch in Crown Point, Ind.

The 49-year-old pulled over and went back to help, leaving his new wife in the car. He didn’t make it back.

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As William helped the motorist, 42-year-old teacher Linda Darlington, up the embankment, they were struck and killed by three passing cars.

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

Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

"He was a good Samaritan trying to help this woman in distress," said sheriff's office spokesperson Patti Van Til. "It's a very sad, tragic situation. He helped her up the steep embankment and helped her to the side of the road when they were struck."

Angie Lowe met William when he was a child taking part in her theater group. He grew up to serve in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division for about 12 years.

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"He grew into an incredible man. He loved his country, he loved his family. He loved his friends, he loved his craft. He loved doing whatever he was doing, he threw his whole self in," Lowe said. "The wedding was the best last night anyone could have spent. He was the happiest I've seen him. And so was Nikki. . . The love, the humor that came out in those two. And what was more important was the promise of a future that was just going to be all theirs."

Hobart School Superintendent Peggy Buffington released a statement about Darlington late Sunday. "From the minute the principals interviewed Linda Darlington, they knew they found an extraordinary teacher for children. They told me I had to meet her," Buffington said.

[Chicago Tribune]

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