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Posted at 7:57 PM ET, 06/20/2010

Large wake blamed for sheriff's death

By Terri Rupar

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

Original Post:

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.

--Martin Weil

By Terri Rupar  | June 20, 2010; 7:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

Sounds a little fishy given the details (or lack thereof) so far.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | June 19, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

A wake??? there was only one boat no other boats we're present. I especially like this part "but Smith says he doubts charges will be filed" I guess the law only apples to us peasants.

Posted by: askgees | June 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

A wake??? there was only one boat no other boats we're present. I especially like this part "but Smith says he doubts charges will be filed" I guess the law only apples to us peasants.

Posted by: askgees |

Hey genius. He is talking about the other boat that caused the wake. There are laws against causing excessive waves (wake) in lakes.

Posted by: MKadyman | June 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Story leaves out if the officers were wearing approved PFD's and properly seated in the boat. Sounds like they were not. If they were, they would be no story.

Posted by: comradcitizen | June 20, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Please, for all of those of you who did not personally know Dean Ridings, stop with the suspicions. It's rude to the family. Dean and the other officer were both very responsible and professional individuals. Accidents happen everyday without much of an explanation. It is a great loss to our family, the sheriff's department and our community as a whole.

Posted by: agirlnamed | June 20, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I was out on Lake Anna when the accident occurred and the wakes were fairy rough at times. Those officers out on the lake do a great job keeping it safe and its sad to have this happen.

Posted by: Jmbsearay | June 21, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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