Chaplain for hospital killed

Video of the accident scene at 15th and Jones St..
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A hospital chaplain is dead and a truck driver known for her cheerful demeanor faces vehicular homicide charges after a fatal accident Tuesday morning on Jones Street.

Family members said Bill Snyder, a North Augusta minister and University Hospital chaplain, had bought his Honda Helix moped last year for an easy and affordable ride for daily trips to Augusta.

He was struck and killed by a dump truck Tuesday as he rode it to a veterans' Bible study.

"That was one of his favorite things to do," said son Trevor Snyder. "He would go and listen to veterans' stories and sing Christian hymns with him. A lot of vets just need someone to listen. He loved to do that."

Mr. Snyder, 67, died instantly about 9:40 a.m. after a Tucker Grading and Hauling truck collided with his moped on Jones Street near the end of River Watch Parkway, Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Robert Silas said.

The driver, Samantha Rivers, 25, of Warrenton, Ga., was in the center lane of Jones Street when she tried to make a left turn into a Shell Gas Station. Mr. Snyder and his moped went under the truck's left rear tire.

Police charged Ms. Rivers with second-degree vehicular homicide, improper left turn and driving a commercial vehicle without having her license with her, Sgt. Silas said.

Paulette Tucker, the co-owner of Tucker Grading and Hauling, said Ms. Rivers is distraught.

"I don't imagine she'll ever be able to drive a truck again," Ms. Tucker said. "She is just a super safe, good driver."

Ms. Tucker said Ms. Rivers was hauling rocks and dirt for the St. Sebastian Way project, and had hauled from the trucking company in Wrens to Augusta several times.

Though she had no license with her at the time of the accident, Ms. Tucker said the company had a commercial driver's license on file for Ms. Rivers that didn't expire until 2012.

Ms. Tucker said that it was hard to believe that the cheerful driver, who had worked for her almost a year, had caused such an accident.

"It's just tragic," she said. "I really feel for the family and their terrible loss."

Mr. Snyder and his wife, Marian, moved from Plumsteadville, Pa., to North Augusta in 1999 and began worshiping at North Augusta Bible Chapel. Mr. Snyder became a minister 38 years ago. He served as a University Hospital chaplain for nine years, hospital spokeswoman Erica Cline said.

Trevor Snyder said his father's full, Christian life made it somewhat easier to share the news with his two children.

"I told them he's OK," he said. " 'He went to see Jesus today, and you'll see him again someday as well.' "

Mr. Snyder is survived by his wife, four children and 11 grandchildren.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (34) Add comment
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fandango
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fandango 04/29/09 - 01:34 am
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what a sad story . Ms Tucker

what a sad story . Ms Tucker will always be haunted by her actions but I have a feeling after reading about Mr Snyder he would forgive her . What an interesting man he was and i am sorry i never met him ! my sincere condolences to his family.

cajunnana2000
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cajunnana2000 04/29/09 - 02:25 am
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Truly sad,may God have mercy

Truly sad,may God have mercy on both of their souls.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/29/09 - 05:47 am
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The responsibility for

The responsibility for motorcycle safety lies not only with every driver on the road, because of the size of the ride, but with the scooter rider. An experienced rider will always stay out of blind spots and away from either side of a large truck, especially in an area with lots of exits into businesses. A sudden illegal turn is common because of the size of the trucks and an experienced rider would be on the look-out for that. America is different from Europe in that the tiny scooter has just gained popularity here and it's still new enough to surprise the driver of a larger vehicle. This horrible accidental death is an example of the ultimate scooter rule. "The big vehicle, regardless of who has the right of way, ALWAYS crushes the little vehicle."

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 04/29/09 - 05:59 am
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patricia what an evil yet

patricia what an evil yet typical comment for you to make, you're a sad individual. My condolences to the family and Ms. Rivers, neither family will ever be the same. I know a life is lost and commercial drivers are supposed to have special training, but it is really hard to see smaller motorists in a blind spot in a large truck. I have an SUV and sometimes I miss things I would normally catch in a car.

tlnvols
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tlnvols 04/29/09 - 07:24 am
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Patricia..You lead a sad

Patricia..You lead a sad life..

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/29/09 - 07:49 am
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WOW how insensitive. This

WOW how insensitive. This lady is suffering enough and they had to add a charge of not having a license on her. I can understand if she did not have a valid one or it was revoked or suspended.

hurlyburly11
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hurlyburly11 04/29/09 - 08:13 am
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"Trevor Snyder said his

"Trevor Snyder said his father's full, Christian life made it somewhat easier to share the news with his two children." "I told them he's OK," he said. " 'He went to see Jesus today, and you'll see him again someday as well.' ",,,,,,,,,,,,,Amen ..I am sure that Mr. Snyders family will offer love and forgiveness to the young woman who is also grieving...........God be with them all..........

InChristLove
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InChristLove 04/29/09 - 08:16 am
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Although what PT stated may

Although what PT stated may be true, motorcycle and scooter drivers need to be extra careful when traveling alongside a large vehicle, your delivery was very insensitive. Your last statement could or rather should have been left unsaid. My condolences to Mr. Snyder's family, but rest assured, he has seen the face of his Heavenly Father and is singing hymns with the angels now. It's the ones left here on this earth that grieve but may God give you comfort.

sophiecat1
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sophiecat1 04/29/09 - 08:18 am
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Patricia, YOU are the one

Patricia, YOU are the one people should be looking out for. YOU are the person who parks in the handicap parking spot just so you don't have to exert any extra energy. YOU are the person who refuses to hold a dorr open for someone. YOU are the person who hits an animal and never looks back to see if it is hurt. YOU are the person who is always out for themselves, no matter what the cost. YOU are a sick individual and God help you for what you said about this vicitim. I'll bet you would not be bold enough to say this directly to his family, becasue YOU are the person who hides behind the keyboard!

uptheseventhplanet
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uptheseventhplanet 04/29/09 - 08:28 am
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Perhapa you typical PT

Perhapa you typical PT ranters could point out the part of her comment that was untrue.

godogs
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godogs 04/29/09 - 08:42 am
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As a relative of the family I

As a relative of the family I know that Bill would absolutely hate to see all of the bickering posts that follow the article of his death. He would rather you be talking about the good things in his life and how he served his savior and how we can continue his work of saving others not bickering about who was right or wrong. He would say to find something positive to say rather than negative because that solves nothing. He would say to pray not only for his family but the young lady who unfortunately hit him and her family. He would be ministering to her and her family as well. He would be forgiving! We should all walk the life he and his family have walked, they have not only talked the talk but walked the walk and we should strive to be like him.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 04/29/09 - 08:50 am
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As a motorcycle rider I

As a motorcycle rider I disagree with PT. That's like saying if you don't slow down at a green light and someone runs the red light and hits you it's your fault for not slowing down in case someone was gonna run the red light. You are wrong on this one PT.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 04/29/09 - 09:10 am
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Two families torn apart by

Two families torn apart by this.

itcouldhappen
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itcouldhappen 04/29/09 - 09:23 am
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I'm not sure "torn apart" is

I'm not sure "torn apart" is the word. One family is mourning a beloved member, but they are not mourning like those who have no hope! They have hope and that hope is in Jesus Christ. Because of this, although they will miss their husband, father, grandfather, etc. terribly, they will be comforted. Chances are they will be the ones who will offer comfort to a very young Ms. Rivers. I have been where they are in a similar circumstance. The Snyder family will honor their Lord and their father by forgiving.

whyaskwhy
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whyaskwhy 04/29/09 - 09:24 am
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PT, PT, PT ! ! ! Such

PT, PT, PT ! ! ! Such insenitive comments. Why are you always ready to provide something inappropriate and out of line. PLEASE Go outside ! Get out of the house and in touch with people, face-to-face. Turn the computer OFF.

doughkey
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doughkey 04/29/09 - 09:34 am
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Although miss patricia chose

Although miss patricia chose her words very poorly, i don't think she meant to be insensitive. Also, she points out something important. By far the majority of cycling accidents (i'd assume it applies to scooters and motorcycles too) occur when a motorist is turning either onto or off of a road. Driver eyes are 90% of the time looking out through the front windshield.

Let's all resolve to be more careful on the streets, and shower our prayers and blessings on the Snyders and on Ms. Rivers.

Bored in GA
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Bored in GA 04/29/09 - 10:38 am
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A forgiving God we have and

A forgiving God we have and Thanks for a praying man that lost his life but, touched so many before his time came to an end.. Prayers go out for both famillies and maybe if Ms Rivers was not a believer maybe his life was given for her to seek HIM!!!

MrsHeathNThomson
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MrsHeathNThomson 04/29/09 - 11:30 am
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to all who have posted a

to all who have posted a message: my fellow brothers and sisters in christ this is truly not the time to be bickering about who's right are wrong. this is the time where we all should be coming together and praying for "both" families and thanking god that we are still here. so don't continue to put p.thomas down about her comment just "pray " for her. to the family of mr.snyder,"weeping comes and will come n the night but joy will come in the morning". and when the road seems you can't make it-p.u.s.h.(pray until something happens!) and always remember you got to have faith!

gnx
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gnx 04/29/09 - 01:12 pm
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godogs - thank you for your

godogs - thank you for your 8:42 post. My sympathies go out to all the families involved.

RU4Real
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RU4Real 04/29/09 - 02:02 pm
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May God's grace comfort the

May God's grace comfort the love ones of Mr. Synder. There are many veterans in Heaven in which he is now signing hymns. A true Christian does not fear death, but rejoices in eternity with God. The ones left behind do not mourn for sorrow, but mourn the passing of someone that means so much to them. Mr. Synder's love ones knows he is in Heaven, they must now wait until they reach Glory to reunite. As for Ms. Rivers, the pain is from her conscience that tells her is made an error, that error resulted in a death. She does not need to be forgiven by society, just God and Mr. Synder's love one. I feel confident that both are forthcoming with her cry for absolution. Please pray for God's comfort to both these families, as I will be doing.

Grasshopper
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Grasshopper 04/29/09 - 04:05 pm
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Non-Believers you are just

Non-Believers you are just trying to prove to yourself their is no God. When in your soul, not your logic, there is a desire, and for that you are posting your disbelief. Could it be in this honorable mans death has you thinking of your own? So to find comfort you are posting Atheistic messages to look for comfort from others. I can't prove to you there is a God, but my Faith is in God and His Son Jesus Christ

mrsmikep
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mrsmikep 04/29/09 - 05:33 pm
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This is a tragic accident. I

This is a tragic accident. I have not read of any praises for the women that were performing CPR on this gentleman until emergency responders arrived. They stopped to help a stranger... Think of how our community would benefit if everyone would practice the following verse...
John 13:34-35 (NIV)
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Also, I think it was extremely inappropriate for the news crew to be filming while cpr was being performed on this gentleman. That is not news, that is a life, someones loved one. How would you feel if it were your family member? Respect others please.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 04/29/09 - 06:18 pm
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excellent comment, MRSMIKEP.

excellent comment, MRSMIKEP.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 04/29/09 - 06:30 pm
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While I don't know Ms. Rivers

While I don't know Ms. Rivers personally, I have seen her many times hauling from the plant where I am employed. I would always say hello to her and she would always smile real big and say hello back. She isn't a bad person. I am certain she is devastated by this. My condolences to Mr. Snyder's family and friends. I cannot imagine having to go through something like this. godogs, I also thank you for your 8:42 post. They are words to live by.

joe hill
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joe hill 04/29/09 - 08:11 pm
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Patricia Thomas, you are

Patricia Thomas, you are truly pathetic. Did you know that you can delete comments that you have made? Might be a good time to do so.

DontTazeMeBro
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DontTazeMeBro 04/29/09 - 09:33 pm
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this was not a blind spot

this was not a blind spot problem, it was the most common type of motorcycle accident, car/truck turns left in front of oncoming biker and biker cannot stop in time. bikes/scooters just do not have the profile of a car, and it does not register in a driver's mind that.. oh, here comes a bike... until it's too late. add in all the modern distractions of cell phones, music, time pressure.. and it adds up to this result. as a biker, I just go ahead and assume that every car coming out of a side road or trying to turn left does NOT see me and/or will do something stupid. it's a jungle out there.

MtnMan
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MtnMan 04/29/09 - 10:43 pm
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This column should be named

This column should be named LETS ROAST PATRICIA.
SOPHIE surley Patricia isn't guilty of all the things you are accusing her of....if that were so I would think the woman wasn't human.

rock5501
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rock5501 04/30/09 - 12:31 am
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to lose a love one is a great

to lose a love one is a great lost, but for one to walk in the light of the our lord is never lost. absent from the body and spirit with jesus. my heart and my prayers goes out for mr. synder family and love ones and may their faith and god grace get them through this. i did not know mr. synder but it seems as i did, because of the love of god. mrs. river i do know because of the same god.mrs river remains bodily with us and i pray for mrs.river family and love ones as well because i am sure that a part of her is lost also. i am a cycle rider and in each walk of life i believe that god have us all covered especially when you are covered by the blood of jesus. mrs. rivers i know is constantly praying for the synders family and i believe the synders is in constant prayer for mrs. rivers and family.stay godly.

reeree422
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reeree422 04/30/09 - 12:44 am
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Judge as you would want to be

Judge as you would want to be judged. My Uncle Bill Snyder would not have judged Ms. Rivers, or Ms. Thomas' post as you have, only God can do that. My Uncle would be praying for them. He was a good man dedicated to God, and his fellow man. God has taken him up, to join him. God needed him, and his music for his heavenly choir.

tanman1
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tanman1 04/30/09 - 07:33 am
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My mother passed away at

My mother passed away at University Hospital last weekend. Chaplain Snyder was working that day and came up and prayed with my family. Giving us great comfort. My heart goes out to the Snyder family and Ms. Rivers as both families lives have been changed forever.
University Hospital has lost a wonderful Chaplain. I am sure that Chaplain Snyder and my mom are rejoicing with the lord as we speak.
May God Bless the families

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