Truck driver gets probation in accident that killed chaplain

A dump truck driver who struck and killed a hospital chaplain this spring was sentenced today to two years probation.


Samantha Rivers, 25, of Warrenton, Ga., pleaded guilty to making an improper turn, and she pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide in the second degree, said her attorney Pete Theodocion.

Richmond County State Court Judge David D. Watkins accepted the plea negotiation for the straight probation sentence, Mr. Theodocion said.

Ms. Rivers struck and killed Bill Snyder, 67, on April 28, on Jones Street near the end of River Watch Parkway. Mr. Snyder, who was a North Augusta minister and University Hospital chaplain, was driving his moped at the time of the accident.

“She just never saw him,” Mr. Theodocion said of his client. She feels terrible about what happened, he said.

Judge Watkins told Ms. Rivers that he would suspend half of her $2,000 fine if she would donate that much money for a memorial for Mr. Snyder.

The accident happened about 9:40 a.m. Ms. Rivers had dropped off a load of stone for the St. Sebastian Way road project. She turned right onto Jones Street and was trying to turn left into the Circle K station when she struck Mr. Snyder, Mr. Theodocion said. He had come up beside Ms. Rivers’ truck and she couldn’t see him, her attorney said.

According to an earlier report in The Augusta Chronicle, Mr. Snyder was on his way to a veterans’ Bible study group.



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