WJTV News Channel 12 - Botetourt woman tried to save husband from drowning in culvert

Botetourt woman tried to save husband from drowning in culvert

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A Botetourt County woman tried desperately to save her husband from drowning in drainage culvert, two sources confirmed.

The first source is a friend of the couple.  The second source is the spokesman for the Botetourt County sheriff's office, Major Delbert Dudding.

Stein survived after trying to pull her husband, Craig Ricker, out of a flood filled drain culvert on the couple's property.

Ricker used a rake to try and clear debris from the culvert after the property started flooding early Wednesday morning.

Stein held a flashlight so he could see.

The rake broke, sending Ricker into the water.

Ricker then grabbed Stein's tee shirt in an attempt to stay above water.

The family friend, whom declined to be identified, said Stein has a wound similar to a rug burn near the back of her neck from the struggle to keep the strong current from sweeping her husband into the drainage culvert.

Ricker then let go.

The family friend said Stein believed it was a combination of Ricker thinking he might pull her underwater with him, and that she didn't want to leave her three sons without a mother.

Stein then struggled in chin deep water to free herself from the creek.

Stein called 911 but it was too late.

Dudding confirmed Stein's eldest son, Ricker's step son, pulled the body out of the water.

The family friend said Ricker had purchased almost all the materials he needed to put in a larger drain culvert, even arranging for his brother to come up from Tennessee to help him with the labor, but then the heavy rains hit Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Funeral services for Ricker will be held in Tennessee.

Donations for the family are being taken at Angels of Assisi, where Stein is a volunteer.

Stein is also president of Barn Cat Buddies, a local rescue group that pairs feral cats with property owners looking to use them for rodent control.

Local HoneyTree Early Learning Centers are also taking donations for the family.  Stein is a teacher at HoneyTree's Bonsack location.

Barn Cat Buddies will also be taking donations for the family at an adoption event tomorrow (Saturday, July 6th) at Nature's Emporium, which is on Brambleton Avenue in Roanoke County.

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