Downtown wreck kills minister; dump truck driver charged

Footage from the accident scene at 15th and Jones St.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:18 AM
Last updated 11:22 PM
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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 this morning on Jones Street.

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Snyder  Special
Special
Snyder

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

This morning he was headed to a veterans’ Bible study on his Honda Helix when he was struck and killed by a dump truck.

“That was one of his favorite things to do,� said son Trevor Snyder. “He would go and listen to veteran’s 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 Riverwatch Parkway, said Richmond County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Silas.

The truck driver, Samantha Rivers, 25, of Warrenton, Ga., was driving 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 a license on self, Sgt. Silas said.

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

“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 before. 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 Plumseteadville, Pa., to North Augusta in 1999 and began worshiping at the North Augusta Bible Chapel. Mr. Snyder became a minister 38 years ago. He served as a University Hospital chaplain for nine years, said hospital spokeswoman Erica Cline.

He left his hometown in eastern Pennsylvania as a teen and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy, graduate from Bible college and serve as a pastor and missionary in Canada and Africa, Mr. Snyder said.

Mr. Snyder said his father’s full, varied and Christian life made it somewhat easier to share the news of his death 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 (49) Add comment
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isuzurodeo1996
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isuzurodeo1996 04/28/09 - 10:50 am
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that man is dead.

that man is dead.

UrbanMeyerHater
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UrbanMeyerHater 04/28/09 - 11:42 am
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but he saved gas money and

but he saved gas money and the earth!!!!

Batman
197
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Batman 04/28/09 - 11:42 am
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I'm so sorry for his family.

I'm so sorry for his family. I sure wish people would stop driving these things. I saw another one nearly in a similar accident the other day. Not safe!

citizenna
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citizenna 04/28/09 - 12:01 pm
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I love humanity here!

I love humanity here! Someone's family is going through a lot right now and this is what you people post. My condolences to the family!

NEone
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NEone 04/28/09 - 12:05 pm
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"At some point, the dump

"At some point, the dump truck driver noticed that a yellow-and-black moped got caught under the truck. " Understatement???

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/28/09 - 12:13 pm
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Urban, what kind of sick punk

Urban, what kind of sick punk are you? You are brave sitting behind a computer. Some one has lost a loved one and the truck driver will never be the same and you are making jokes.

mosovich
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mosovich 04/28/09 - 12:26 pm
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And to think people all over

And to think people all over the world have the opportunity to see into the minds of the people of Augusta through the internet.. The keyboard and internet are a dangerous thing.. What a sad group of people we are to make such stupid comments.. How would you feel if this was your family member you were reading comments about?

jmhunter412
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jmhunter412 04/28/09 - 12:44 pm
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i know this man and he was a

i know this man and he was a good honorable man and his family is at a great loss. those of us who knew him and know his family have broken hearts at this news. may God's grace and peace be with his family. We know where he is and there is peace in that. I am so sorry family for the crude comments some have made.

Tots
26570
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Tots 04/28/09 - 01:16 pm
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I dont think we should make

I dont think we should make jokes about a life thats been lost.I said a prayer for him and the truck driver.

someuser
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someuser 04/28/09 - 01:34 pm
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My condolences to the family

My condolences to the family and their friends. While he took a risk owning and riding a scooter, we all take that risk in some way, shape or form. This really hits home to others who ride on two wheels.

I love how the internet allows people to be completely inhumane when it comes to things like this. I almost wish comments were turned off for stories that may insult and disrespect another human being.

The problem is scooters/mopeds/cyclists are looked at as this evil annoyance on the road. Many times I've been spat on, cussed at or people jeeringly act like they're going to cause me to have an accident. So who's the dangerous one here? The huge truck making improper turns? Or the biker/scooterist who's actively trying to dodge all the crazy things on the road?

FallingLeaves
31
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FallingLeaves 04/28/09 - 01:34 pm
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HOW does someone without a

HOW does someone without a license manage to be driving a dump truck??? Is she driving without a driver's license or a special license for driving heavy equipment?

godogs
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godogs 04/28/09 - 01:49 pm
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That man was my first cousin

That man was my first cousin and he was an honorable man. He was a Chaplin for University Hospital and you couldn't ask for a more caring human being. The nasty comments are absolutely not necessary as my father passed away last month and my cousin proceeded over his funeral and now the family will have to deal with another tragic death in such a short amount of time. Please keep your sarcastic comments to yourself this family needs your prayers, especially his wife and children. They are all christian people and have served their God their whole lives. They were in the mission for many years. God will get us through this as he has the other family losses we have had over the past couple of years but please don't post stupid comments we are still greiving from last month and now to add this to our plates, we don't need your nasty comments.

storiesihaveread
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storiesihaveread 04/28/09 - 02:08 pm
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Tell them godogs bunch of

Tell them godogs bunch of flipping idiots that let there mouths and hands typing behind a screen name in the darkness of the internet. They for one have [filtered word] so to speak to show there idiot faces in public. godogs sorry for your loss.

aliciah
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aliciah 04/28/09 - 02:30 pm
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He was one of my best

He was one of my best friend's fathers. He was a wonderful father, great husband, grandfather, and friend to so many. I praise God that he is in Heaven at the feet of Jesus whom he loved so much.

I ride a mountain bike..do I not have a right to be on the road as well? Give me a break. We all have to be cautious and careful..no matter if the person is on a road bike, motorcycle, or a moped.

SusieQ
1
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SusieQ 04/28/09 - 03:04 pm
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My prayers go out to this

My prayers go out to this family in the lost of their loved one. He is in the arms of his Heavenly Father, and will suffer no more. Thank God he was a Christian, his spirit shall be with you each day. SusieQ

getalife
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getalife 04/28/09 - 03:48 pm
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Thoughts and prayers to this

Thoughts and prayers to this man's family. Hopefully Ms. Rivers will stay in jail and be sentenced to many years behind bars.

sueboo418
57
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sueboo418 04/28/09 - 05:10 pm
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What a tragedy!!! My prayers

What a tragedy!!! My prayers go out to the family. I don't know and probably most of you don't either, what this woman's situation was. She should NOT have been driving without a license for sure, but we don't know why she was doing it. She was probably just trying to make a living for her family, like the rest of us. As you can tell from her picture, she is visibly upset and should be. I pray for her and her family as well.

g-dog express
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g-dog express 04/28/09 - 05:13 pm
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The truck had to owned by a

The truck had to owned by a company. Didn't they know she didn't have a license? Why aren't they in jail? If they knowingly let her drive without a license they are just as guilty. Do they keep good records and check driving history? They should. My prayers go out to the mans family.

Tots
26570
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Tots 04/28/09 - 05:46 pm
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To getalife-Thats a little

To getalife-Thats a little harsh'Idont think she should have been driveing without a license.Her and the company she drove for should be hit with heavy fines.They may be looking at a lawsuit also.And yes if they let her drive knowing she did'nt have the license then they should be charged also.

FallingLeaves
31
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FallingLeaves 04/28/09 - 06:17 pm
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Why do so many people here

Why do so many people here write "LOST of a loved one"? That doesn't make any sense, sorry, please say and write it correctly: It's "LOSS of a loved one". LOST makes it sound like they're entering the hot place instead of heaven. I hope the mourners don't take offense, because it seems that people who say it are sincere in their sympathy, but it is a bit confusing. My condolences as well. It is sad for a man in his age of wisdom to be struck down like this.

Dark Lord
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Dark Lord 04/28/09 - 06:30 pm
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G-Dog, If the company or the

G-Dog, If the company or the driver had prior knowledge of the loss of driving priviledges then they will both be in trouble together. However if the company didn't know that the license had been recently revoked or suspended then the company should not and probably will not be held accountable. Understand at any given time or day at least 30% of the drivers on the road with you have no license or they are driving with suspended license. Most people don't know their driving status, some don't care and drive anyway..

kuntrygirl
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kuntrygirl 04/28/09 - 07:00 pm
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Dark Lord- who said anything

Dark Lord- who said anything about a loss of license or even suspended? Read the article,it said not on her at the time.The company has them on file also.Some people are so quick to jump without knowing all the facts.I am deeply sorry for this family's loss.Will pray for both family's.This sounds like a accident and the lady has to live with this in her mind for the rest of her life.Does anyone stop to think that it could be you in this situation,how would you feel? My deepest sympathy

crazy7209
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crazy7209 04/28/09 - 07:50 pm
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My deepest regrets to this

My deepest regrets to this family!!! As a citizen who lives in Blythe on Highway 1. I watch this trucking companys dump trucks fly like a bat out of hell everyday. A fetal accident was bound to happen sooner or later. The drivers of those dump trucks in the afternoons drive extremely aggressive in most cities their drving would be classified as road rage. Maybe now something will be done about it. And it the DOT was smart they would listen to the complaints they have had on this company.

ListenAndLearn
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ListenAndLearn 04/28/09 - 08:08 pm
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I'm with you kuntrygirl,

I'm with you kuntrygirl, reading comprehension has gone to the dogs. My sympathies to both families.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 04/28/09 - 08:55 pm
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Kuntry and KK, these people

Kuntry and KK, these people were just commenting on what the article said. It said she was driving without a license earlier. If you look up top, it said the story was updated at 6:40, and the comments about driving without a license were before then. People are always making snide comments about others posts without looking to see if the article was updated. If multiple people post the same thing that doesn't match the article, always check to see if it has been updated. It does not mean people are ignorant and can't read, they are just commenting on what the article says just as you are. I figured that out easy, so yes reading comprehension and a little common sense does go a long way. =)

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 04/28/09 - 08:55 pm
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My deepest sympathy to Mr.

My deepest sympathy to Mr. Snyders family.

paperwren
24
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paperwren 04/28/09 - 09:48 pm
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I did not know Mr. Snyder,

I did not know Mr. Snyder, but I can tell that he was a good Christian man. My deepest sympathy to his family.

To the Chronicle, I love your newspaper, but I think that publishing photos/videos of such a terrible accident scene is uncalled for and hurtful to the family. It is unnecessary to show the crumpled vehicle beneath a tire. You have published a nice article about this man's life, but featured it underneath a tragic accident scene. These are the types of scenes that, when we see them on the freeway, we try to shield our eyes. Publishing this photo/video in no way contributes to the story and could be deemed sensationalism or yellow journalism. Please consider the victim's family before publishing. His children and grandchildren deserve to be able to read the article about him without having to see the horrific accident scene.

Son of God
0
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Son of God 04/28/09 - 10:30 pm
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May God bless his family and

May God bless his family and friends and comfort them with the Peace of knowing that "To die is GREAT GAIN",especially if you die in Christ as this young man did. I thank God for people who are servants of God as this man was. I am quite sure the love that this man shared spread throughout his family. we need more people like him on Earth today. I never knew him but from reading this article, he and his family know Jesus. From reading other comments, some people still need to learn about the Love of Jesus. Jesus never found fault in man just as this man did. He lived his life serving others just as Jesus did. He reminds me of Jesus who was innocent and shed innocent blood. He now has EVERLASTING LIFE. His charge to us is that we read Romans 10:9, 10 and repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. To the family, Continue to walk in Love as this SOLDIER AND WAR ANGEL FOR CHRIST did.May God bless the dump truck driver and her family as well. Jesus never showed hate for no man and we should not either.Love is the greatest commandment. I am so proud of Mr. Snyder's accomplishments. He gives me courage to continue in the Lord. Be strong family members and continue to walk in Love as he did

g-dog express
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g-dog express 04/28/09 - 10:36 pm
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There isn't any way to go

There isn't any way to go back and look but the first article read differently than it does now.

SusieQ
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SusieQ 04/28/09 - 10:50 pm
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baroness--I'm sure you was

baroness--I'm sure you was talking to me about using "lost", I know the proper word is loss, but we all make a mistake sometime. I'm not perfect. SusieQ

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