• Deputy's widow sues after he drowns during training

    By: JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A lawsuit says a deputy killed during training on a South Carolina lake was tangled by the boat propeller after going overboard and drowned inches under the surface while pleading for his life.

    The widow of Anderson County deputy Devin Hodges said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers instructor didn't use a switch that kills the boat motor when the driver goes overboard.

    The suit says the "kill switch" was a vital safety device because Jess Fleming was doing emergency stops, where a driver pulls back the throttle quickly and turns the wheel sharply. The suit says Hodges and Fleming fell from the boat on Lake Hartwell in June 2017, and the unmanned vessel turned in a "circle of death' before hitting Hodges.

    The Corps didn't return a message.

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