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breaking news

New shopping center proposed at long-vacant Springfield site

Hours after getting married, groom dies helping motorist


What was supposed to be one of the happiest days of one man's life turned into his last in just seconds. 

A man married less than seven hours was killed along with a stranded motorist he stopped to help in the snow when they were struck by several vehicles, authorities say.

William Riley Knight, a former U.S. Army Ranger, pulled over to side of the road Sunday to help a woman whose car was stranded in a ditch. According to WGN-TV, Knight had just left his wedding reception with his new wife in northern Indiana.

"He said, 'We've got to stop, it's late and they need help,'" his wife Nikki Knight told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday.

He pulled his truck into a nearby driveway and Nikki Knight waited inside while he went out to help Linda Darlington, 42, of Crown Point. They were standing by the side of the road when they were struck by one vehicle, and then two more, the Lake County sheriff's office said.

Nikki Knight, a registered nurse, said when she got to the wreck, neither Knight nor Darlington had pulses. They were pronounced dead at the scene early Sunday.

"I went from a being a newlywed to a widow in less than 48 hours — the highest high to the lowest low," Nikki Knight said. "It's a blur."

Those who knew Knight say he was a great guy.

"Very outgoing, always wanting to help somebody. He was good to be around my kids, I'm glad my kids got to know him." (Via WTHR)

"He loved his country, he loved his family, he loved his friends." (Via CNN)

Local police say alcohol was not a factor and the drivers who struck Knight stayed on the scene after the accident. No charges have been filed up to this point. (Via WISH)

According to WBBM Knight acted in community theater and enjoyed hunting. He is survived by his new wife, and four children. 

—The Associated Press and Newsy contributed to this report



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