Dad changing tire on I-95, dies in front of 2 children

Posted at 11:22 PM, Jun 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-18 00:34:00-04

Richmond, Va. (WTVR)—This Father’s Day, two children are grief stricken by the memory of their father, who died right in front of their eyes Saturday while he was changing a tire on the car.

Police said Steven Ridley, age 35, was stopped on the right shoulder changing a flat tire on a 2010 Chrysler 300M, when Robert M. Krill, of Pennsylvania, ran off the right side of the roadway in his U-Haul and struck Ridley and his vehicle.

Ridley died at the scene. Police said his vehicle’s hazard lights were activated.

Police said that Ridley’s 14 year-old son was outside the vehicle assisting his father when the crash occurred. He was not injured.

Ridley’s nine-year-old daughter, who was seated inside the vehicle in the front passenger seat, suffered minor injuries and was transported to VCU Medical Center.

Ridley's mother and his two children are being comforted tonight by family and friends who have been gathering at Ridley's home here in Richmond.

One neighbor described Ridley as kind-hearted, and understands personally what his mother is going through.

"I will miss my good neighbor,” Ruth Harrell said, stunned to hear that Ridley had been killed. “I haven't felt the same since."

Harrell said she looked outside Saturday, just in time to see Ridley and his two children get in his car and drive away. Then, a few hours later; "I was rolling the glass up in my car and his mother walked up to me and told me he had gotten in a car accident."
Harrell says at that moment she knew exactly how Ridley’s mom must be feeling, since she lost her daughter in an accident in 1986.

“I told her I was sorry, I told her I had been through it, it’s going to, she's going to have some hard days and some good days, but it’s going to get better."

Ridley, a Navy veteran worked at Sprint and went to school at J. Sergeant Reynolds. He hoped to become a Marine engineer.

Family members say that they've been comforted by the kind words being left on Steven’s Facebook page

“He was kind of to himself, he never was with a crowd, you never see a lot of people, guys going in and out and he lived quite a while, by his self."

Family members said that at this time, funeral arrangements are not complete.

Investigators said that Krill, who was wearing his safety belt, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to VCU Medical Center.

Krill has been charged with reckless driving, and could face other charges.