Parents: Driver in coma amid girlfriend's death
He lies in an induced coma, his brain swollen, his mind unaware that his girlfriend died in the weekend car accident that put him in the hospital.
Christopher Torres' parents on Monday said their 23-year-old son will be devastated because he and Kaitlyn Dougherty had been saving up to get married after dating for more than a year.
The other day, after seeing her play with children, his mother Joanne Rediger recalled at Stony Brook University Hospital, Torres commented, "Don't you think she's going to make a great mom one day?"
Torres, a telemarketer from Nesconset, and Dougherty, 22, of Medford, were on their way to a party Saturday night when he lost control of his car in Yaphank.
It had been raining, police said, and Torres' Nissan crashed into two oncoming vehicles on Horseblock Road about 7:30 p.m.
Dougherty was pronounced dead at the scene and Torres was airlifted to the hospital. The two other drivers and one of their passengers were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
Outside Dougherty's home, her uncle said he'd met Torres a few times, and called him a "nice guy, very polite."
Dougherty, the middle of three girls, was a "bubbly" and "outgoing" college student who worked two jobs to pay for school and was finishing an associate degree at Suffolk County Community College, her uncle said.
They were on their way to a party for a friend who had just graduated from culinary school when the accident happened, he said.
Torres was in critical condition Monday at the hospital, where his family sat in a sort of vigil for him in a waiting room.
He had surgery on his arms and legs, but has "intensive surgeries upcoming," including for face reconstruction, said his father, Richard Torres, of Lake Grove.
The couple had been friends in high school, Torres' older sister, Kimberly Torres of Selden, said.
They would go in Dougherty's pool almost every day when they got off work, she said.
"They would do the most outrageous things . . . they would take videos of them jamming out in the car. They just enjoyed each other's company," she said.
Although he is a "great guy," Torres could be stubborn and have an attitude sometimes, his sister said, but Dougherty knew how to deal with it.
"He thought she was so beautiful inside and out," she said.
"You've never seen two people more in love. She was the best thing that ever happened to him."
With Ellen Yan
CORRECTION: Kaitlyn Dougherty was not engaged to Christopher Torres. An earlier version of this story misstated the relationship.