FAIRFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) – Following a shooting that left Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley dead along Interstate 64, there were many questions that were left without answers. While there are a lot of unknowns, one thing is known for sure; the Wayne County community is hurting.
Wayne County resident Gene Kollak did not know Deputy Riley personally, but says he knew of his work and his work ethic, saying Riley put other’s needs ahead of his own, something that makes this tragedy even harder to comprehend.
“It’s hard to understand how stopping to help someone on the interstate can cost you your life,” says Kollak. “And everything I know about Sean, he was the type of person to give you the shirt off his back. And I’m sure when he saw blinking lights on the interstate at 5 in the morning, his first thought was, ‘I’m going to stop and see what this guy needs.”
Kollak says despite the fact that Deputy Riley’s life and career were cut short, he has left a lasting impact on Wayne County, and a legacy that will live on for years to come.
“This is the kind of thing, the kind of event, that you name streets after, and gymnasiums after. Because Sean, I think, is going to represent everything that portion of Wayne County that was never afraid to stop and help somebody.”