Robert Barbieri of Loxahatchee, Florida was arrested in connection to the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed Katherine Rigby last month, news sources report. Barbieri, 68, was apprehended on Tuesday and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving a death. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired an attorney. It remains to be seen whether Rigby’s family will file for damages.
The accident occurred on June 16, 2013, sources say. Rigby was riding a bicycle wither her 13-year-old son Devin on Tangerine Boulevard at the time; Rigby was near the shoulder of the westbound lane, while her son was trailing behind on the sidewalk. According to the teen, who witnessed the accident, a light-colored SUV traveling in the same lane as Rigby hit her from behind. It is not clear whether the driver failed to see Rigby, or if the crash was caused by a miscalculation or some other factor.
Rigby flew onto the SUV’s hood and hit her head, then fell off the vehicle and onto a driveway. Then SUV reportedly veered toward the center of the road and accelerating while making its exit. She died soon after. Detectives later found shards of headlight, a broken fog light, and bits of the vehicle’s grill at the scene. According to investigators, the debris matched that of a 2000 to 2006 model Chevrolet Tahoe.
Meanwhile, Barbieri allegedly arrived at his home in the 22nd block of “C” road upset and told a woman he lives with that he think he hit something; the nature of the pair’s relationship was not disclosed. The woman’s boyfriend observed Barbieri’s behavior, sources say. When the man heard about the hit-and-run on the news, he reportedly placed an anonymous call to police telling them that a vehicle at the home had likely been the hit-and-run vehicle
When officers arrived at the home, the woman allowed them to examine a 2205 Tahoe SUV parked in the driveway. Detectives found damage to the Tahoe, which the woman claimed was from her hitting the mailbox; she told police that the shards of headlight from the crash had already been disposed of. However, the mailbox apparently appeared to be undamaged. The woman’s boyfriend, who revealed that he had been the tipster, told detectives what Barbieri had said and done upon arriving home on the night of the accident.
Detectives brought the debris from the crime scene, compared it to Barbieri’s SUV, and determined they were a match, sources say. Barbieri was subsequently arrested for causing the deadly accident. It is not clear whether the woman will face repercussions for allegedly giving the police false information during the investigation.
Following Tuesday’s arrest, the Rigby family released this statement: “The family of Katherine A. Rigby would like to thank the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their prompt and diligent effort in bringing justice to this tragedy that has change our lives forever. We would also like to thank the community for the outpouring of support and prayers. The kindness and compassion of the community has touched us and meant so much.”
Source: 7.17.13 Barbieri Hit-and-Run.pdf