HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — A beloved teacher is being honored on Monday after a tragic accident killed her and the Good Samaritan that stopped to help her.
Linda Darlington was a first-grade teacher and mother of three children.
William Riley Knight was just gotten married hours earlier.
The Lake County Sheriff’s office said Darlington slid off the road, and her car ended up in a ditch near 109th and Lane Street in Crown Point.
Darlington and Knight, of Crown Point, were struck and killed by another car after Knight pulled over to help assist her.
On Monday, students and teachers were trying to make sense of the tragedy as they arrived at Joan Martin Elementary School in Hobart.
“She was a mentor,” said Jaclyn Keefe, a special education teacher. “A great person, great leader.”
Kim Garbison, a friend and art teacher said: “I cried a lot. We all have our cell phones and are just pulling up old pictures. Old texts. She was just so funny, so we’re able to cope together by looking at old messages from her.”
(Kacey Allen, Joan Martin Principal, said: “Her former students are now second graders and those are the ones I’m especially worried about because they’re the ones who had spent a whole year with her. They were heartbroken, watching them come in today.
“We had to give lots of extra hugs. We had counselors on hand, especially in the first-grade classroom.”
Knight had just gotten married a few hours before the accident and was driving with his new bride.
“He was on his way home from his wedding reception when he stopped to provide assistance to this female who was walking up the embankment after her car had slid off the road,” said Lake County spokeswoman Patti Van Til.
Van Til says Knight and the woman whose car was stranded were both hit by another car – and they were killed.
Knight had two biological children and two stepchildren.
He been in the U.S. Army Rangers before he retired in the mid-’90s, was a hunter and had been an actor in community theater.
The Lake County Coroner’s office says both Knight and Darlington died of blunt force trauma.