FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Rick Reisinger loved cars. His family said he was always in his garage working on something, and he was about to retire to dedicate more time to do what he loves.
But his life was cut short.
Reisinger, 62, was killed in a crash Tuesday on Coliseum Boulevard. Police said the man who caused the four-car pile-up, Brody Brunson Sr., ran from the scene. He then called police to report his car stolen. When police arrived they noticed he matched the description of the man who fled the scene, and he was arrested.
Reisinger’s family took NewsChannel 15 to his garage where he worked on his beloved cars to tell us about the husband, father and grandfather.
“He would bring cars back to life,” Reisinger’s wife Lorri said.
His wife of 39 years said he probably built and owned 80 cars over his life, and often times he did the impossible.
“We had a ’31 Coupe that was trashed, and people said that would never be back,” Lorri said. “Well, six months later that car was on the road.”
“If I needed just to talk he’d just listen and share his input,” Daughter Vanessa Sheckler said. “Sometimes his input wasn’t what I wanted to hear that’s for sure. That’s who he was, and that’s where I get it from. Honest.”
It’s his honest spirit that makes what happened to him even harder on his family.
“My dad always taught us to be honest,” Sheckler said. “That’s just who he was. The person that just killed him wasn’t, and tried to lie.”
In the world of cars, there’s a lot of camaraderie which as created a support around the family.
“To hear the stories about how he touched [people’s lives] helps me,” Sheckler said.
But it’s still not going to bring Rick back.
“It’s going to be really lonely without him,” Lorri said.
Lorri had one last conversation with Rick just a few minutes before the crash.
“He said he was on his way home, we’d spend the rest of the day together,” she said. “He said ‘I love you, see you soon.'”
Brunson Sr. was booked on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.