Family Holds Vigil For Daughter Killed In Crash 1 Year Ago
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A year after an 18-year-old woman was killed by a drunk driver on Route 28, charges have been filed against the man who hit her.
That news is doing little to ease the family’s pain.
Dozens of family and friends gathered this weekend to remember the life of Rikki Fleming.
“She loved children. She just loved everybody. She was just one of them people that lights up the room and puts smiles on people’s faces,” Rikki’s father, Steve Fleming , said.
It was one year ago that Rikki was killed when a drunk driver rear-ended her car on Route 28 in O’Hara Township. Her father drove to the scene trying in vain to find her when she didn’t come home on time.
“I’m just screaming at the officers and the paramedics, ‘Where’s the girl in the car?’ And then, once it registered, I just collapsed. It was all I could handle,” Fleming said.
Despite wearing a seatbelt, Fleming was thrown from the car and died at the scene.
“I don’t have a young daughter. I’m destroyed. My life’s, to me, it’s over because when she died, I died. That’s why it was hard for me to do this. It was very, very hard,” Rikki’s mother, Bobbie Jo Fleming , said.
The driver of the car that hit Fleming, Jared Schillinger, is now wanted by police for DUI and homicide by vehicle.
“A warrant was put out for his arrest and they haven’t been able to find him. He’s out of state,” Bobbie Jo said.
While a vigil at All Saints Church in Etna is a reminder of Rikki, it’s also a somber reminder of what can happen.
“Never drink and drive. You don’t know what it does to a family unless you have stood in their shoes,” Bobbie Jo said.