'I screamed her name': Bride-to-be, 29, killed just three months before wedding after crane crashes into apartment
Eric Ridenhour was just a few steps away from his fiancee Kiersten Smith when a crane crashed onto the five-story Elan City Lights residential building
On June 9, Eric Ridenhour and his fiance Kiersten Smith were enjoying a casual Sunday in their Dallas apartment when a high-wind thunderstorm sent a construction crane onto their complex killing 29-year-old Smith.
“Everything kind of just went dark. I don’t remember hearing a sound,” 29-year-old Ridenhour told ABC News. “It happened so fast, and the first words out my mouth were my fiancée’s name. I don’t know how many times I said her name. I screamed her name and I could not find her.”
Ridenhour was making grilled cheese sandwiches just a few steps away from Smith when a crane crashed onto the five-story Elan City Lights residential building.
While Smith was immediately rushed to a local hospital, doctors pronounced her dead.
“She makes it hard to grieve. When I look back on my memories, all I can do is smile. I guess that’s a blessing and a curse,” Ridenhour told the outlet, describing his wife-to-be as “a beautiful, caring person.”
“Time is really precious. In a split second, everything that you love can be gone," he added. “I would do anything to have a moment with Kiersten, to tell her I love her. I feel if someone is at fault, they need to be held accountable.”
According to WFAA, Smith’s death was ruled to be an accident resulting from blunt force head trauma, per the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office. The outlet reported that five people were injured and hospitalized, but they are expected to make a full recovery.
The crash took place after heavy storms moved through the region with winds blowing at up to 70 mph.
As a result of the storms, a billboard and a hangar roof at Dallas Love Field Airport were damaged, aside from debris being strewn all across the city.
Smith’s family released a statement mourning her death. “Kiersten’s death is unbelievable, shocking and unnecessary," they said, adding she was a Southern New Hampshire University graduate and worked at Tenet Healthcare.
Officials with Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., the firm that owns the crane, said they would fully cooperate with any investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed and injured, and to those that suffered property damage,” spokesperson Randy Smith told WFAA. “We are mobilizing personnel to the site to find out more.”
Speaking to WFAA, the spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed and injured, and to those that suffered property damage. We are mobilizing personnel to the site to find out more.”
Ridenhour wrote on a GoFundMe page how he was grateful for the support from the public after the fundraiser crossed its $5,000 goal, raising $8,157 to help him with related expenses.
“Thank you so much for empowering me to pick up the pieces and start building the life again that Kiersten and I had aspirations for,” he wrote. “She was my partner for life, my ride or die, and although she isn’t with us—I know she is as moved as I am.”