"His kids were his life". Those words today from a grieving mother after a family outing gone horribly wrong.
Over the weekend, 35-year-old Steven Ridley died in an accident while fixing a tire along Interstate 95.
His mother talked about her son's love of life, his family, and his legacy.
Eunice Ridley said they're doing their best. Her son and his two children were on their way to race go-carts in Petersburg when the accident happened.
Mrs. Ridley remembers her son as someone who would do anything for his family.
"As a mother, he was my perfect son," said Eunice Ridley.
He was her only son. Saturday afternoon, Steven Ridley was changing a flat tire on the shoulder of I-95 in Chesterfield County. The driver of a U-Haul truck towing a trailer ran off the road, hit and killed Ridley instantly. His 14-year-old son was standing there and saw everything.
"Oh his son, he's really having a difficult time," said his cousin, Joanne Harrison.
Ridley's nine-year-old daughter was in the car. The children were not hurt, but they are having a tough time coping with the loss of their dad.
"They're not doing okay," Mrs. Ridley noted. "They saw the whole thing so they're re-living that."
They're receiving loving support from relatives. Ridley said her son adored his two kids, and his friends loved him dearly. His old high school friend paid his respects Monday.
"He said he was the best friend any person could ask for," Eunice Ridley added.
She said Steven was also a hard worker at Sprint, served in England and Japan in the navy, and was earning his Marine engineering degree at J Sargeant Reynolds.
"As a mother, I couldn't ask for a better son," Eunice Ridley said. "I'm just so very proud of him."
Despite Saturday's tragedy, Ridley's fond memories of her only son will help her get through this tough time.
Ridley's mom said his children are with family and they will be getting special attention to help them cope with the loss of their father.
The family plans to have his funeral Friday. The driver of the U-Haul, Robert Krill, of Pennsylvania has been charged with reckless driving.
State Police are still investigating the accident. It could be at least another month until we know further details.
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