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Slain trucker’s wife gives birth to twins

Slain trucker’s wife gives birth to twins

Hope Rivenburg gave birth to twins at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta Wednesday.

Hope Rivenburg gave birth to twins at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta Wednesday.

The children will never know their father, Jason Rivenburg, because he was murdered in South Carolina earlier this month trying to make a living for his family.

“She’s doing fine, the babies are doing fine, everybody’s doing good,” Hope Rivenburg’s father, Butch Savage, said Thursday.

Hope Rivenburg was expecting twins at any time when she learned that her husband, who was resting in an 18-wheeler at an abandoned gas station, had been shot, allegedly by a man who stole his wallet and the $7 it contained.

Three South Carolina men are facing felony charges in Rivenburg’s death.

Prior to the shooting, Rivenburg, 35, and his wife decided on the children’s names.

The boy is named Hezekiah, after his grandfather, and the girl is named Logan, Savage said.

The twins have an older brother, Joshua, who will turn 2 next month.

Savage said his daughter’s advanced pregnancy led a doctor to ask her the day before she learned that her husband died to avoid any stress.

“The doctor was quite concerned about it. How much more stress can you get under?” Savage said.

The young family, of Fultonham, Schoharie County, had moved into a new home only a month before the shooting, family members have said.

Rivenburg’s death sparked outrage and an outpouring of support for the family.

Truckers and family members are demanding that the government do more to protect truckers who risk their lives following rules that require that they pull over and rest after a certain amount of driving time.

There are few resources telling drivers, who are often unfamiliar with a local area, where a safe place to rest might be.

An online petition calling for “Jason’s Law” has garnered more than 3,000 signatures, and the family met last week with U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, to discuss their concerns.

A Web site, http://jhlrivenburg.com, was set up in honor of Jason Rivenburg and the effort to raise awareness of trucker safety.

A memorial fund for his family was established at Trustco Bank. Savage said it was his understanding that people are donating to the fund but it was unclear Thursday how generously. An official at Trustco said that laws preclude the bank from confirming more than the existence of the fund.

The Calhoun County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department arrested three people after an investigation into the shooting.

Willie Pelzer, 22, was charged with murder. He is accused of shooting Jason Rivenburg at least twice at about 10:30 p.m. March 5 while Rivenburg was in a tractor-trailer carrying organic milk.

The site of the shooting was described by authorities as a gas station closed down for about a year near Exit 136 off of Interstate 26.

Jimmie Haygood and Willie Reed, both 21, were charged as accessories after the fact, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.

All three suspects remain in jail, and their cases are pending. Court appearances could be scheduled within the next three weeks, according to the office of First Circuit Solicitor David M. Pascoe, the prosecutor in the case.

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