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Heartbroken family expresses gratitude for support after girl and her dad are killed by drunk driver

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 19:56:36-04

WATERFORD (WXYZ)  — "Originally, we wanted to be very private but the outpouring of prayers, support, and condolences are just absolutely overwhelming," said Rick Langley whose 6-year-old granddaughter and son-in-law were killed Wednesday afternoon by a suspected drunk driver in Waterford. "We decided we would like to do a public thank you to the entire community."

Langley said his family is so thankful for everything from prayers to contributions to a GoFundMe account to help his daughter as she grieves the loss of her husband and only child.

Six-year-old Riley Melanshek was killed Wednesday afternoon when a suspected drunk driver crashed into the back of the SUV she was in with her father, Nick Melanshek, 34.

Nick, who had been in a coma and listed in critical condition, died over the weekend.

Nick was an organ donor and loved ones tell us that three people now have the chance to continue living.

Nick's wife, Jessica Melanshek, was in the vehicle in front of him and Riley. The car she was in was also crushed in from the rear in the chain reaction crash that Waterford Police said was caused by Trevor Taylor.

Langley sat down with 7 Action News Monday and began by thanking first responders who rushed to rescue Riley and her dad.

"They did their job flawlessly even though they were visibly shaken," Langley said. "We thank you."

Langley went on to thank the hospital workers who kept them informed on efforts to save Riley and her father.

Jessica's sister started the GoFundMe account for her with the goal of trying to raise $10,000. By Monday afternoon, the donations were nearing $45,000.

"Just thank you to everyone," said Jacklyn Dominick, Jessica's sister. "Money isn't everything, but it is one less thing she has to worry about. So, thank you to every single person."

"You have no idea how much it's uplifted this family," said Rick Langley.

"The outpouring has her (Jessica) absolutely numb," Langley said. "We will get her through this, one day at a time with the good Lord's help."