Richard and Dorothy Costleigh hit on sidewalk

Undated photograph of Richard and Dorothy Costleigh, who Undated photograph of Richard and Dorothy Costleigh, who were killed on Hempstead Turnpike. Photo Credit: Handout

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Tuesday nights were movie nights for Richard and Dorothy Costleigh. Always early, the couple from North Valley Stream would park and then stroll toward the Franklin Square Cinemas, treats tucked in Dorothy's purse.

Married for nearly 39 years, they loved each other dearly, loved this weekly ritual, one they wouldn't reschedule even when friends begged.

Richard, 64, and Dorothy, 62, were less than a block from the theater on June 6, 2006, at 6:56 p.m. They were on the sidewalk, nearing the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Pacific Avenue, when the driver of a Pontiac Grand Am took a left turn from the turnpike. The car collided with an oncoming truck, which swerved, jumped the curb and struck the Costleighs.

Richard was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre. Dorothy died the next morning at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola. The two drivers were treated at hospitals and released; neither was charged.

"They loved to take walks," said the Costleighs' daughter, Lisa Saunders, 43, of Seattle. "They walked everywhere."

The two had met at a dance in 1965 and married two years later. They lived in Elmont and Bay Shore, then settled in Wantagh.

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Richard eventually oversaw 800 employees at Grumman, where former colleagues said his team designed a software system in 1984 still in use today.

Dorothy was a stay-at-home mother who later worked as a classroom assistant for Levittown schools and as an administrative assistant at Nassau University Medical Center.

"It's just so devastating to read about other people who have died since my parents," Saunders said of pedestrians killed on Hempstead Turnpike. "There are things they can do to help this situation. It doesn't have to be this way."

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