COLUMBIANA COUNTY Sheriff probes death of man in Negley
County authorities initially suspected an accident, but now they're wondering if foul play was involved.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
NEGLEY -- Columbiana County authorities are trying to determine how a man suffered a fatal injury last week.
Richard Rider, 55, of Front Street, died Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Rider was taken there last Tuesday evening shortly after passers-by found him lying unconscious in an alley off state Route 170 in this tiny community on the eastern edge of Columbiana County.
Head cut: Rider had a nearly half-inch-long cut on the back of his head, Jerry Herbert, a county sheriff's department detective, said Monday.
It's unclear how long he had been lying there before he was discovered, Herbert said.
Authorities took Rider to East Liverpool City Hospital. A helicopter took him to the Pittsburgh hospital about 10 p.m. last Tuesday.
Fred Miller, an East Liverpool hospital spokesman, said Rider had a severe head injury.
Herbert said authorities initially suspected that Rider, who runs a flea market in Negley, fell and suffered the injury when his head struck the ground.
Tip received: But after he was discovered, the sheriff's department received a tip that Rider might have met with foul play, Herbert said.
Because Rider died in Pittsburgh, which is in Allegheny County, the coroner's office there will make a ruling on his death.
A coroner's spokeswoman said the ruling will depend, at least in part, on the investigation by the Columbiana County Sheriff's Department.