ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina deputy who volunteered to be on marine patrol was killed during training Thursday when he was thrown from a boat and run over by the driverless vessel, authorities said.
Devin Hodges, another Anderson County deputy and an official from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were training on Lake Hartwell about 9:30 a.m. Thursday when all three were thrown from the boat, authorities said.
The driverless boat then circled back and struck Hodges, Department of Natural Resources Capt. Robert McCullough said.
Wildlife officers are investigating the accident and haven’t determined how the men were thrown from the boat, McCullough said.
The two others on the boat were taken to the hospital in shock but were otherwise uninjured, authorities said.
Hodges began working at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in January and jumped at the chance to patrol the lake that borders Georgia, Sheriff Chad McBride said at a news conference.
“Today has been a horrible day,” McBride said, fiddling with a ring on his finger as he spoke outside an Anderson church.
Hodges, 30, worked for the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and the Calhoun Falls police before coming to Anderson County. He had a wife and family.
“He’s a godly man. I know he’s in heaven right now,” McBride said. “That’s about the only peace I can get right now.”
Hodges is the first Anderson County deputy to die on duty since March 2005, when deputy James Alexander Burdette was hit by a car while directing traffic.