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Groom struck by vehicles, killed after aiding motorist in NW Indiana

Maps

Updated: January 17, 2014 6:24AM



Just hours after his wedding, a man was struck and killed by a vehicle after he pulled over to assist a driver whose vehicle was in a ditch Saturday night in Northwest Indiana.

William Knight, 49, was driving to a hotel about 11:45 p.m. with his new wife, Nikki, when they spotted a woman whose vehicle had gone into a ditch on the shoulder of 109th Avenue near Lane Street in Crown Point, Ind.

“He said, ‘We’ve got to stop, it’s late and they need help,’ ” his bride, Nikki Knight, recalled on Sunday.

They parked in a nearby driveway, and Nikki stayed in their truck while Knight walked out to the street to help Linda Darlington, 42.

They were standing by the side of the road when they were struck first by a vehicle headed east on 109th, and then were hit by two vehicles trailing the first, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s office.

Nikki, a registered nurse, said that from their truck it looked like a car had driven over a lump of snow and she heard a thud. When she went out to the scene, she said, neither Knight nor Darlington had a pulse.

Knight and Darlington, both of Crown Point, Ind., were pronounced dead at the scene a short time later, according to the Lake County coroner’s office. They died of blunt-force trauma, according to autopsies performed Sunday.

Police said all drivers involved in the crash remained at the scene and tested negative for alcohol. No charges had been filed as of Sunday night, according to the sheriff’s office.

Knight, who went by his middle name Riley, served as a U.S. Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division for about 12 years, including foreign tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm, Nikki said. Since then he had worked as a heat-treating specialist in northwest Indiana, she said.

The Knights’ wedding ceremony took place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nikki said. They were heading to a hotel after their reception when they stopped to help.

“He was the type of person who was willing to put himself on the line and support you no matter what,” she said by phone.

“I went from a being a newlywed to a widow in less than 48 hours — the highest high to the lowest low,” she said. “It’s a blur.”

In addition to his wife, Knight is survived by two his two daughters, a stepdaughter and stepson.

Email: marmentrout@suntimes.com

Twitter: @mitchtrout



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