Missouri Dad of 10 Is Killed in Hit-And-Run – He Was a Teacher & Sole Provider for His Family
Ten children were orphaned all at once when a man, who was also a husband, friend, teacher, and faith leader, was killed in a hit-and-run incident. The news of his death came as a shock to everyone around him.
One of the worst things that can happen to a person is the sudden death of their loved one. Whether it's a person's child, parent, sibling, spouse, or any other friend or family member, the news of their demise shocks them to the core.
Today's story is about a similar unfortunate incident that turned the life of ten children upside down. They lost their loving father and had no idea who killed him. The man's death moved everyone who knew him.
A REGULAR DAY
Like every other day, Charles Criniere woke up early and went outside on his bike to spend some time alone. He loved solitude and praying to God before starting his day. The middle school math teacher wasn't aware of what would happen to him on the morning of August 27, 2022.
Criniere was riding his bike on the roads of Kansas City, Missouri, when a white Honda Acura bumped into him. The impact made Criniere fall to the ground, but the car driver didn't help him get up. Instead, he sped off, hoping the authorities won't catch him.
Meanwhile, an injured Criniere tried to get up from the road, but he couldn't. Soon, the pain became unbearable, and the loving father-of-10 closed his eyes forever. When the news of his death reached his family members, they couldn't believe it.
THE LOVE FOR CHILDREN
People who knew Criniere were aware of his love for children. Despite having ten children of his own, he was like a father figure to the neighborhood kids and his students. A family friend, Erika Benedictis, revealed:
"He was always on the front lawn with his kids and our kids, the neighborhood kids playing football, playing volleyball, coming up with relay races."
Criniere's friends and family were upset after being informed of his sudden demise, and his coworkers and students also felt heartbroken. Criniere had won the hearts of the people around him. They all remembered him because of his kindness.
THE SUDDEN DEMISE
After the accident, the police began searching for the person driving the white Honda Acura that bumped into Criniere's bike. All they told the public was the description of the car. Meanwhile, friends and family expressed their grief. Pastor Athel Barnes from Grace Point Baptist Church said:
"Charles was an amazing person in so many ways, and it's left a huge hole in the community."
Ken DeBenedictis, Criniere's friend, said it was too difficult for him to accept that his beloved friend was no more. His death came as a shock because it happened so suddenly, and no one was expecting Criniere to pass away so soon.
HIS GRIEVING FAMILY
Criniere left behind a family of 11 — ten children and his wife, whose world was turned upside down. They had never imagined living without Criniere, but fate had other plans. Erika shared how she was always amazed by the family:
"They're so giving, and they were living off a teacher's salary. 10 kids, and they always gave, and I would look at him and be like, 'How are they giving so much?' But that's their heart, is to give to people."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise $250,000 to support Criniere's family during the worst time of their lives. Many people have stepped forward to donate money, and an anonymous person has given $20,000, the maximum amount received by a single donor.
COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE
As news outlets discussed Criniere's death on social media, people flooded the comments section with kind words for him and his family. Here are some of the comments from WVUE FOX 8's Facebook post:
"So very tragic. Lord, help his wife and children through unthinkable grief." ― (@Mary Ann Peterson) August 30, 2022
"Jokes, seriously! A human life, dad, and husband has [sic] died. Wake up, people. Start caring a little. Prayers for his family." ― (@Marilyn Giacona) August 29, 2022
"Oh, so sorry to hear this! This is a beautiful family! Praying for them." ― (@Jackie Koch Morel) August 29, 2022
ADVICE FROM EXPERTS
The thought of living without one's parents is enough to send a shiver down one's spine. But what happens when that thought becomes a reality is nothing less than a nightmare. Dealing with the loss of a parent isn't easy, but experts have some tips for children to cope with their irreplaceable loss.
Experts advise such children to acknowledge their feelings. After losing a parent, people feel all kinds of emotions, and it is okay to accept them. Some people might feel angry and frustrated, while others might only cry. There are no rules about what to feel when one's parent dies.
According to experts, talking to a therapist can also lessen one's grief; some children feel better after sharing memories of their late parents with their friends and family. Building a close relationship with one's family also helps handle grief.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Criniere's children, wife, family, and friends who are dealing with the pain of this tragedy.
Click here to read another story about a teacher who ran to save a drowning girl while he was at the beach with his family. He had no idea he would end up in the hospital after saving the teenage girl.
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