Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle reports that a Buchanan area man has drowned in a culvert near his home, early this morning. Botetourt County 911 Dispatch center received a call at 4:43 am this morning reporting a man in the creek near the 3200 block of Mount Joy Rd. Botetourt County Fire and Rescue units along with Sheriff’s Deputies and a Swift Water Rescue team were dispatched. Upon Rescue unit’s arrival the victim had been located and was pronounced deceased shortly there after.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the victim had returned home from work around midnight and the water was rising in the creek and culvert area leading to his home. He was keeping check on the water level throughout the early morning hours. As the water level continued to rise and started running across his driveway, he went into his home, woke up his wife and told her the driveway was starting to flood and asked her to come down and hold the light for him while he tried to unstop the culvert. While attempting to clear the debris from the culvert, the hand rake he was using broke and according to his wife, the victim fell into the water and the water’s current started to pull him into the culvert. His wife jumped into the water to try to assist her husband, she also became stuck in the current and after about 10 minutes she was able to free her self and go to the house and call 911.
The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification of all family members. The body has been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Roanoke. Nothing further to be issued at this time.
–Maj. Delbert Dudding, BCSD
UPDATE, 3:47 p.m.: The drowning victim has been identified as Craig Ricker, age 42.
The Roanoke Times has more flooding coverage at roanoke.com.