Philmont Country Club head professional Riegler is believed to have been helping bring in golf carts during the thunderstorm when a tree collapsed on the course shop and barn, killing the 38-year-old just days before his wife, Kate, was due to give birth to their first son.

The recently promoted director of golf died alongside two others who were killed when trees landed on their cars and a fourth victim who was caught in a fire after a power line failed.

Emergency services spent hours trying to save the trapped golfer, whose death drew an outpouring of grief after local news outlets reported that the rescue mission had failed, leaving behind his heavily pregnant partner and a heartbroken local community.

Geoffrey Surrette, who helped form a public response that needs less than $49,000 to reach its $300,000 goal after just three days, said the young family would need “a lot of support” after the “collective tragedy.”

Lead fundraiser Bryan Kienke called Riegler “one of the most caring individuals you could ever come across.”“He was that guy who would call just to see how you’re doing and make sure everything was great in your life,” he added.

“Justin was so excited when he told me that Kate was pregnant and they were having a baby. Unfortunately after a horrific accident at work he will never have the opportunity to meet his son.”

Golfers who had been at the course before the storm struck fully expressed their horror. “Oh my god,” responded one. “I was there this morning. I left about 20 minutes before the storms hit. I’m at a loss for words.” Another said: “I was there earlier. Horrible.”

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