- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A retired U.S. Navy captain living near Mechanicsville died Monday when the pickup truck he was driving went off Route 234 in Budds Creek, police report, and struck several trees in a wooded area along the highway.
Stephen George Riley III, 60, was traveling east on the highway at about 4:46 p.m. that day in a 2001 Ford F150 truck when it went into a shoulder ditch for unknown reasons, according to St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputies. Riley attempted to regain control of the vehicle, the sheriff’s office reports, but it went across the road’s centerline, its westbound lane and into the woods. Riley was found trapped in the vehicle, and he died at the scene.
Riley was drafted and joined the Navy in 1971, his son said, and chose to remain in military service until 2009. He worked as an air traffic controller.
“He wanted to reach [the rank of] captain, ” Stephen Riley IV said Tuesday morning outside the family’s Hillville area home. “That was his goal. In 2006, he achieved it.”
The Rileys moved from Virginia Beach, Va., to St. Mary’s in 1995, the son said, adding that his father served at Patuxent River Naval Air Station until 1998 and then in Norfolk and Crystal City, Va. He would come home on weekends.
More recently, the retired captain worked in system operations security with the U.S. Department of Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was coming home Monday from a business trip in Langley, Va., his son said, when the fatal collision occurred.
“He loved hunting and fishing,” his son said. “He loved going to garage sales with my mom, and spending time with his family, and his grandson.”
Neither speed nor alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, according to a sheriff’s office release from the preliminary investigation.
The sheriff’s office has requested that anyone who witnessed the crash, and has not yet provided information to investigators, do so by calling deputy William Watters at 301-475-4200, ext. 9114.