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.