Deputy Sheriff Devin Hodges, 30, was killed in a boating accident while participating in a joint marine patrol training exercise with the Army Corps of Engineers at Singing Pines Recreation Area in Starr, South Carolina.
He and two other occupants of the boat were ejected from it during the training at approximately 9:30 am. He was then struck by the propeller of the empty boat, which had come back around after everyone had been ejected.
Deputy Hodges was pulled from the water and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries one hour later.
Deputy Hodges had served with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office for six months and had served in law enforcement for eight years. He had previously served with the Lander University Department of Public Safety, Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, and the Calhoun Falls Police Department. He is survived by his wife and children.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Sheriff Chad McBride
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office
305 Camson Road
Anderson, SC 29625
Phone: (864) 260-4400
WYFF News 4 News Story
An Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was hit by a boat during a training exercise on Lake Hartwell Thursday morning died from his injuries, the coroner said.
Hodges and two other people from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were on Lake Hartwell when they fell out of the boat, according to Department of Natural Resources Capt. Robert McCullough.
Investigators have not yet said what caused them to fall from the boat.
The driverless boat then circled back and struck Hodges, McCullough said.
A medical helicopter and ambulance were called just after 9:30 a.m. to a boat ramp in the Singing Pines recreation area on Lake Hartwell.
Dispatchers said the deputy was pulled from the water at about 9:45 a.m. and was treated by emergency management services.
Anderson County Chief Deputy Coroner Charlie Boseman said Hodges died in the emergency room.
“It started around 9 o’clock, and it was around 9:30 a.m. when the 911 calls started. The deputy was transported to AnMed,” First Sgt. Rhett Barwick said. “There were no other injuries. They transported two other ones to the hospital — no injuries. Basically, (they were in) shock.”
Barwick said in his 17 years with DNR, he does not recall a time when a law enforcement officer has died during a training exercise on the water.
He said first responders did not know the victim was a law enforcement officer until they were close to the scene.
Barwick said it is still very early in the investigation, which will take days to complete.
“Everybody had their life jackets on. They were deployed. The life jackets came up properly,” Barwick said.
The sheriff spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon.
“We lost a brother today who was a great officer,” McBride said.
He described Hodges as an “all-star.” He said Hodges started with the Sheriff’s Office in January, and he had already made a big impression.
Hodges was a great officer and a great guy, McBride said.
“He will be greatly missed,” McBride said. “There will be no replacing him.”
McBride said Hodges was one of several uniformed deputies who share marine duty on the lakes that are such a big part of life in Anderson County. He said Hodges had just worked marine duty over the Memorial Day weekend, and that Hodges “lost his life in the line of duty, training to save lives.”
The sheriff said the loss is especially hard because Hodges was a family man, and leaves behind a wife and children.
“I know he’s a godly man, and I know he’s in heaven right now,” McBride said. “That’s about the only peace right now.”
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