Patrizia Pesce said her emotions have gone from anguish to anger after seeing her husband’s body.
“He was a rock for everybody and now that he’s not here we all feel completely unbalanced,” Pesce said.
Stefano Riccioletti was not supposed to be at work the day he was killed, his widow explained.
Riccioletti was the executive chef at a restaurant inside Shore Club. His wife said his job was his passion.
“He was not a boss,” Pesce said. “He was a friend to everybody in the kitchen. He was a great support for all of us.”
The suspect in the accident bonded out of jail Monday night.
Karlie Tomica, 20 is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death. She ran from cameras and didn’t answer any questions as she left jail.
Witnesses said she sped away from the scene, but a quick thinking Good Samaritan, Jairo Fuentes, followed her and called 911.
“I am actually following the car that just hit the man on Collins Avenue,” he told the 9-1-1 operator.
“Is this a the hit and run,” asked the operator.
“Yes, I’m following her rich (sic) now,” said Fuentes.
“You are following the subject,” asked the operator.
“Yes,” he said.
“Where are you now,” ask the operator.
“56th and Collins,” replied Fuentes.
Patrizia can’t thank Fuentes enough.
“He’s a man that my husband would have loved,” she said. “He did something really special that day. He went out of his way to do the right thing. “
Riccioletti had 3 children. His oldest son, Jacopo, just flew in from Italy.
He said he’ll never forget his father’s smile or his sense of responsibility.
“He was always unstoppable,” Jacopo Riccioletti said. “He always did his duty.”
Riccioletti’s wife said her duty is to make sure her children never forget their father.
She said the driver has not apologized, but she has a message for the person police believe to be responsible.
“She needs to feel the pain that we are feeling. She really hit him hard. And she destroyed him. It wasn’t easy to see him like that,” Pesce said.
Toxicology results are pending to determine if alcohol was involved.
The family has set up a memorial fund in Riccioletti’s honor. His wife said she plans to donate some of the money to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.
A memorial service is planned at the Shore Club Saturday.
Pesce said she’d like to present Fuentes, the man who called 911, with a plaque.