'We lost a special man.' - Woman, daughter drive by Southern State crash and realize loved one was involved
Police are searching for two people who they say caused a deadly crash on the Southern State Parkway and then left the scene, and a local family is now grieving an unimaginable loss.
Police say a Jeep and a stolen Range Rover were driving erratically on the eastbound side of the road near Exit 38 when they tried to pass two cars, causing the crash.
One of the vehicles involved lost control, struck a tree, and overturned, coming to rest on the right shoulder. Another struck the cement jersey barrier coming to rest in the left lane, east of the scene.
Richard Riggs, 75, of Holbrook, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two people from the stolen Range Rover were seen being picked up by the Jeep before fleeing, police say.
It's something Carol Riggs will never forget -- driving on the Southern State Parkway with her daughter Monday afternoon and suddenly coming upon her husband's car, flipped over.
"She said to me, 'Oh my god, that looks like Daddy's car.' And she said, 'What is the license plate number?' And as she was reading it, she starts yelling, 'That's Daddy, that's daddy!' And there was no way for us to get over there because there was traffic blocked all the way around us," she said.
"He was the kind of person that would have jumped out of his car, to help somebody in this situation. We lost a special man, we will never get him back," Carol said.
Carol and Richard Riggs had three daughters, four grandchildren and would have been married 52 years this September. Riggs was a salesman, delivering tools and parts throughout New Jersey, New York City and Long Island.
The victim's niece says family members are beside themselves with their grief and are hoping police will soon find those responsible for his death quickly.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call State Police Troop L at 631-756-3300.