Large wake blamed for sheriff's death
Updated, 2:37 p.m.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith is blaming a large boat wake for an accident that killed one of his deputies.
Smith says Deputy Dean Ridings was thrown from a 19-foot boat when it hit a large wake or series of wakes about 12:40 p.m. Saturday. Speaking Sunday, Smith said the 52-year-old Ridings was thrown overboard and knocked unconscious when his head struck the boat.
Ridings was on marine patrol when the accident occurred.
The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Law Enforcement Division is investigating, but Smith says he doubts charges will be filed.
--The Free Lance-Star
A deputy sheriff in Spotsylvania County, Va., was fatally injured Saturday while on patrol in a boat in Lake Anna, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputy Dean Ridings, 52, died at a hospital shortly after the accident, which occurred about 12:40 p.m. as he and another deputy were patrolling in a 19-foot outboard motor boat, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the sheriff’s office, the second deputy, William E. Schroeder, was thrown overboard and rescued by other boaters. When he returned to the patrol boat he found that Ridings was injured.
Schroeder brought the boat to shore and both deputies were taken to Mary Washington Hospital. Ridings died there at 2 p.m. Schroder was treated and released.
No details were available Saturday night about how the accident occurred, and it was under investigation Saturday night, a sheriff’s department spokesman said.
He said it appeared to involve only the patrol boat.
The lake is about 10 miles west of Interstate 95 and about 20 miles southwest of Fredericksburg.
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