Local News

Family: 'Beautiful soul' killed in road rage crash

Posted October 24, 2008

— Family members remembered an 18-year-old Brunswick County woman as a "beautiful soul" Friday, one day after she died in a crash involving road rage.

Kristi Riggins, of Supply, was a passenger in a sport utility vehicle carrying four people that crashed on U.S. Highway 15/501 in Sanford around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities charged Gregory Starvick, 52, of Pinehurst, with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the wreck. He was driving a pickup truck.

Parties in both vehicles made gestures toward each other, according to highway patrol.

Timothy Fox, 18, was driving the SUV and said he and his friends did nothing to provoke Starvick.

According to Fox, he turned on to Highway 15/501 and Starvick came upon him quickly. The two vehicles barely avoided a crash, he said. Miles down the road, according to Fox, Starvick appeared again.

Fox said he knew something was wrong when he saw Starvick's face.

"(He was making) a mad face," Fox said. "When you get mad at somebody, you show your teeth and you grin like that, and he was (mouthing) stuff, but I couldn't make it out."

Starvick is accused of swerving his pickup truck into another lane. The swerving caused Fox to swerve his SUV. Both vehicles veered off the road but did not touch, officials said. Fox over-corrected, and his SUV overturned.

"All I could hear was, like, the glass shattering, and the Bronco hitting the ground and metal crushing," Fox said.

The wreck threw two passengers from the vehicle. One of those passengers, Riggins, died, authorities said.

Two other SUV passengers – Christopher Garcia, 17, of Lillington, and Matia McCauley, 17, of Sanford – were taken by helicopter to UNC Hospitals.

Garcia, who was Riggins' boyfriend, was in a medically-induced coma in serious condition. McCauley, who was nearly nine months pregnant, was in fair condition. Friends say her baby is expected to survive.

"(McCauley) was crying, saying 'Oh my God! I hope my baby's OK,'" Fox said.

Fox was treated at the Central Carolina Hospital in Lee County and released.

The official cause of the crash was over-steering and inattention to the road, the highway patrol said.

"(Riggins) was 18 years old, and she had no right to be killed, all because some guy had an anger problem," Fox said.

Attempts to reach Starvick were unsuccessful.

Riggins' grandparents released a statement Friday saying that she "had the most beautiful soul that anyone has ever encountered."

"Kristi's spirit will brightly shine in the hearts of everyone who loved her. Her smile will always remind us of all the love she gave us, and that smile we will see again. Until then, she will live as the angel we always knew she was, to lead, guide, and protect all who she loved," they wrote.


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  • boobeth Oct 27, 2008

    please be considerate about your comments you post, some have been very hard for Kristi's family to read. those of you who witnessed the accident and tried to help, thank you.

  • boobeth Oct 27, 2008

    i wish everyone would stop blaming one person or the other, it does not bring Kristi back, i am Kristi's cousin and today was very hard on everyone in our family. her service was filled with people who loved and cared very much for her, we will cherish the memories we have of her and hope everyone will keep us in there prayers.

  • NCresident28327 Oct 27, 2008

    Has anyone stopped to think that the man who is allegedly the reason for this accident may actually be a victim in this whole ordeal. May I remind all of you that I was there, and I saw the ENTIRE accident and this man was DEFENSIVELY driving to avoid being hit from a group of rambunctious inexperienced teenaged kids. I wish all of you would understand what a HERO this man is and not a killer. He went back and tried to do all that he could for these kids and he held the girls hand who was pinned in the car and she NEVER once said to him "I need to get out, I'm pregnant." As for the driver Timothy Fox,

  • egriffin8278 Oct 24, 2008

    Thought- I'm with you. While there are license requirements for teenagers because of the belief of poor judgement and inexperience, there are no restrictions on adults who can show worse aspects of stupidity. Too bad people don't have to take personality tests before getting a license.

  • egriffin8278 Oct 24, 2008

    Marked- That is what the witnesses did say. Straight from the police report. The perp was still awake and aware and could give a statement as well.

  • egriffin8278 Oct 24, 2008

    For every single one of you who are chastising the deceased and the injured for "not wearing a seatbelt" when no where in the story says the VICTIMS were not wearing a seatbelt, you should check yourself before you write. All this would not have been caused if the perpetrator of this event hadn't swerved into the lane of the VICTIMS. Why don't we all keep in mind what the issue is, and that is two people got into a road rage and one took it to the next level. And yes, I fully support felony death by vehicle for this one, even though the at fault person probably won't ever get that charge.

  • Krzyzewskiectomy Oct 24, 2008

    You have heard one side of the story. What do witnesses say? How do we know that the teen drivers wasn't the one that swerved over?

  • thought Oct 24, 2008

    Drivers are just out of control period. I was driving to my parents in johnson co- I had my turn signal on to turn in the driveway- and I was slowing to turn - someone was right up in my bumper blowing his/her horn. Why? Back off each other.
    I was in a real bad accident last year- permenent back injury all because a kid wanted to make a red light when traffic was stopped. He actualy blamed me-
    I am sorry that the kids say they did not provoke it- maybe they didn't, but from what I've seen of kids.... but no matter what - no one has the right to use their car for a weapon. driving in not a right.
    The day I was at my parents a cop was outside and nailed five cars in two hours for speeding. There is nothing that si so important you have to go over the limit.

  • grayboomerang Oct 24, 2008

    People and their anger management issues. A young woman wouldn't let me over onto 440 a few weeks ago. I was trying to merge off of Glenwood onto the beltline...she just sat beside of me, wouldn't speed up, slow down...when I waved her by....she immediately slammed on brakes in front of me when I finally could merge. What an idiot....here she is in a compact car and I'm in an SUV. She was very lucky that I was paying close attention....she could have been rammed very hard by an accelerating vehicle.

    People need to get their anger in check....you see more anger management issues on the road and on the internet than anywhere else...because people feel some sort of security behind glass or a computer moniter.

    Now this "adult" will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life..all over road rage.

    Sad thing is, people do not learn from these tragedies.

  • Redneck_Bob Oct 24, 2008

    I don't see how they can charge Starvick with involuntary manslaughter.

    I feel he should be charged with voluntary manslughter since he obviously chose to do what he did knowing what the possible outcome should be.