Lakeshore News Tonight

Hobart Teacher, Newlywed Killed In Pedestrian Crash

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December 16, 2013 – There was a steady flow of traffic along State Road 231 in Crown Point late Saturday night and 42-year-old Linda Darlington was one of those motorists.

“She was eastbound on 231 on 109th Avenue.  [She] apparently drove off the road somehow and went into a ditch on the south side of the road,” said Lake Co. Sheriff John Buncich.

Help wasn’t too far for Darlington.  Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said 49-year-old William “Riley” Knight saw Darlington exit her white Chevy Volt and head up the embankment.  He was the Good Samaritan who stopped to help her out of the ditch.

Buncich said, “He exited his vehicle and went across the street and started helping her come out of the ditch.  A vehicle was going east bound on 109th and struck them both.”

Buncich said the roads were clear that night, but it was dark and that could have contributed to the situation’s risk.

“The area right there, going east bound on 109th, unfortunately Lane Street is on an incline. So, it’s possible with going on an incline and going downward the three vehicles did not observe the couple until the last second.”

Darlington was a celebrated first grade teacher at Joan Martin Elementary School in Hobart.  A press release issued by the School City of Hobart superintendent states that Darlington was proud to be a Brickie, very dedicated to her students and respected by her colleagues.  Principal Kacey Allen described Darlington as her “sunshine at school.”  She stated, “I received an email daily from her letting me know how lucky she was to be a teacher at Joan Martin School.”  A parent reports, “she was an amazing teacher who taught our lil guy so much … I loved the way she would take photos and videos of the kids and what they were working on.”

Buncich said Knight was just as celebrated.  He and his wife were leaving their wedding reception after being married earlier on Saturday.  He said Knight’s desire to help others was natural.  He hopes motorists are not deterred from helping others, but are more cautious.

“What we would suggest is that if you do come upon something like this, make a call first to the local agency.  Just about everybody has cell phones now where you can call 911 and say that there is a motorist or someone that’s in distress, can you send someone out to the scene. You have to take into consideration the conditions out there.  This is an area that is someone remote, it’s dark out there and you have to take your safety into consideration.”

Police did not issue any citations and no arrests were made.   Staff members held a memorial for Darlington at Martin school.  Counselors are also working with faculty and students to get through the tragic event.

By Renetta DuBose

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