Updated: Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010, 11:39 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010, 6:35 PM EDT
SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - When a man from Kill Devil Hills, N.C., sought to kill himself Monday night by intentionally driving the wrong way on Chesapeake's High Rise Bridge, his life was not the only one taken.
Richard Williamson, 72, of Suffolk, was also killed when the driver of a Toyota Camry drove head-on into his Chevrolet Silverado.
Williamson's family says he was a handy man.
"He could fix anything," his son, also named Richard, said. "He could fix anything from a broken heart to the crack of dawn."
Williamson was married for 46 years, he was a father to three boys, a girl and many grandchildren. He was on his way home Monday night after helping one of his sons move, his son said.
"My middle brother, he was behind him but right there before the High Rise he decided he was going to take the tunnel, so he went his way and my dad went over the High Rise."
State police say barreling head-on at Williamson Monday night was a driver, Michael O'Brien, in a Camry who wanted to commit suicide, and his female passenger and wife, Chona Mae Cuestas O'Brien. Troopers say he was driving in the westbound lane and crossed into the eastbound lanes at the base of the High Rise Bridge. He side-swiped a mini-van before colliding with Williamson.
A friend of the O'Brien who asked not to be identified heard the whole thing on a cell phone call.
"I heard her screaming 'No! Stop, stop! Not that way, not there!' He just kept saying 'I love you, I love you,' like, yelling it at her."
The call came minutes before the accident Monday, which happened at about 9 p.m. The friend says prior to the call, the Camry's driver also sent a text message to a friend.
"She had received a text message at 10 past eight that said where he lived, who he needed to contact to let them into the apartment to find a note that would explain everything that was going on and it said to look for them in the news."
The loss of the family patriarch has devastated the Williamson family. Richard Williamson said his mother knew something was wrong before troopers came to her door.
"Both my brothers were already home, my Dad hadn't made it home yet," he said. "She seen the accident on the news and said she knew."
Donna Thomas, the victim's daughter, believes it wasn't an accident.
"It's murder," she said, clutching her father's picture. "It makes us angry someone took our father from us."
The driver of the minivan suffered minor injuries. Chona O'Brien, the passenger in the Camry, is also in the hospital recovering.
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