Saturday, June 9, 2007

Why must I be an octogenarian in love?

So I was reading a Daily Bulletin article:

Cal/OSHA fined a Riverside company about $50,000 after a car struck a 75-foot wood power pole Dec 6, killing three people....

About 10 p.m., an electric-line truck equipped with a crane was parked on the southwest corner of the sidewalk at Benson Avenue and 11th Street, a Cal/OSHA report said.

The truck had hoisted a 75-foot-long wood power pole parallel to the ground, but the pole was in the southbound lane, blocking traffic.

A Buick Rivera hit the end of the pole, killing driver Joel Everett Ridley, 81, of Montclair and his wife Betty Deyo-Ridley, 80.

Then I read this sentence:

They had been married two days, family members said.

No offense to David Jenkins, who was also killed in the accident, but the idea of two octogenarians dying two days after their wedding caught my eye.

Here's an excerpt from an article that ran the day after the accident:

Prosecutors will now decide if they will charge Joseph Dimaano, of Menifee, with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his crewmember, David Jenkins, of Lake Elsinore, and the 81-year-old driver, Joel Everett Ridley, a Montclair resident....

The impact shattered the car's windshield and ripped its roof off, Ansara said, killing Ridley. His 80-year-old wife was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.

Betty died a few weeks later.

There's a fascinating story behind this, but I only have access to part of it. It turns out that the Los Angeles Times, which ran an excellent in-depth article about Vincenzo Riccardi, also ran an article about the Ridleys about a week after Joel's death. Here's a little piece:

The two had known each other as children, and Deyo-Ridley's father taught a young Ridley to fish. The fascination stuck, and Ridley grew to become an avid deep-sea fisherman. His freezer was filled with Alaskan halibut and salmon. Ridley married and after a career with the U.S. Postal Service, owned a jewelry shop for a time before retiring in San Dimas....

[Joel Ridley] and Betty Jean Deyo-Ridley got together at their 60th high school reunion....

Ridley was killed and [Betty Jean Deyo-Ridley] was critically injured when they crashed into a power pole that was dangling from a crane in Upland. The couple were returning from planning their honeymoon.

joeleverettridley bettydeyoridley

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