In Memory of Riley Eric Hein

My son Riley Eric Hein was killed on November 13, 2015 by a semi truck without an underride guard.  He was 16 and driving to High School.  The accident occurred on West Bound I-40 near Carnuel, New Mexico.  Please add Riley’s name to your map.

Eric Hein

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The person killed in a fiery crash that closed I-40 Friday morning is Manzano High School junior Riley Hein, school officials confirmed Monday.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to westbound I-40 near the Tijeras exit around 6:30 a.m. for a crash between a car and a semi-trailer. Authorities closed westbound lanes of traffic all morning while they investigated.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Aaron Williamson said a passenger car and a semi-trailer that were both driving on westbound I-40 collided with one another at a curve, and the passenger car got trapped underneath the semi.

The semi dragged the car for a quarter mile, and when authorities arrived, the truck was on fire. The driver of the passenger car, whom school officials identified as Hein, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Manzano student identified as person killed in I-40 crash

Riley’s dad, Eric Hein, shared these photos and memories of Riley.

The plaque is from Riley’s memorial bench at Mountainside United Methodist Church in Tijeras, New Mexico.  A place of solace where his friends and family can visit.

A family trip to Puerto Penasco, Mexico.  Riley was passionate about fishing and loved the beach. (Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.  –V. Harrison)

From Riley’s personal best Cross Country race in 2015 when he was 16 and a Junior at Manzano High School, Albuquerque.  (Perfect speed isn’t moving fast at all; perfect speed is being there. –Richard Bach, Jonathon Livingston Seagull)
Visiting a burrito food truck in July 2015, Eagle Rock, California.  Riley was always a foodie, particularly Mexican. (It’s been a long day without you, my friend; And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again; We’ve come a long way from where we began; Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again; When I see you again–Wiz Kahlifa)
See more underride tragedies at Underride Crash Memorials and on our Interactive Underride Crash Map. To add more information on this story or to add other underride crashes to this map, send an email to; use this Interactive Underride Crash Map Crash Location Input Form.

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