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Injured RU student passes away

RADFORD — A Radford University student who police say was pushed over a railing earlier this week has died.
Bobby Fletcher Thomason, 21, was injured in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 14, after he allegedly was assaulted and then pushed over the handrail of some stairs outside the 500 building of Hunters Ridge Apartments, Radford City police said. He died Friday.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of death, according to Radford City Police Department spokeswoman Rebecca Hawke.
William Christopher Ritter, a 19-year-old Radford resident, is accused of having pushed Thomason over the railing. Ritter is charged with aggravated malicious wounding and is being held in New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin without bond.
There has been no change in Ritter’s charges at this point. He was arraigned Thursday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in Radford General District Court.
Thomason was a junior business and political science major at Radford, according to one of his best friends, Richard Crenwelge, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Crenwelge and Thomason became good friends while their military families were stationed at Osan Air Force base in South Korea earlier in this decade. They remained friends after returning to the U.S. and often continued to “hang out together.”
“He was very kind, generous, always willing to help,” Crenwelge said of his friend. “He never let himself stay down. He always pulled himself up to his feet when he had a problem.
“He was a really strong person.”
Thomason’s mother lives in Montgomery County.
His father is retired from the military and works in Arizona. According to the father, Thomason’s two younger brothers and a younger sister live in the Philippines, and his older sister lives in Richmond.
Thomason was a 2006 graduate of Thomas Dale High School in Richmond. He also was a member of Delta Chi fraternity in Radford.
An initial press release from Radford police indicated Thomason’s fall appeared to have been accidental and that it occurred early Saturday morning.
Police later said further investigation determined “the victim was pushed…after being assaulted” and that the incident occurred early Sunday morning.
Police say Thomason was found unconscious just after 3 a.m. when they and rescue personnel responded to a report that a male subject had fallen and was unconscious.
Thomason initially was transported to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, then later airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Ritter and Thomason apparently did not know each other, and neither lived at the apartment complex, police said.
The Thomason family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home chapel.
Interment will follow in Sunset Cemetery in Christiansburg.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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Injured RU student passes away

RADFORD — A Radford University student who police say was pushed over a railing earlier this week has died.
Bobby Fletcher Thomason, 21, was injured in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 14, after he allegedly was assaulted and then pushed over the handrail of some stairs outside the 500 building of Hunters Ridge Apartments, Radford City police said. He died Friday.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of death, according to Radford City Police Department spokeswoman Rebecca Hawke.
William Christopher Ritter, a 19-year-old Radford resident, is accused of having pushed Thomason over the railing. Ritter is charged with aggravated malicious wounding and is being held in New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin without bond.
There has been no change in Ritter’s charges at this point. He was arraigned Thursday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in Radford General District Court.
Thomason was a junior business and political science major at Radford, according to one of his best friends, Richard Crenwelge, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Crenwelge and Thomason became good friends while their military families were stationed at Osan Air Force base in South Korea earlier in this decade. They remained friends after returning to the U.S. and often continued to “hang out together.”
“He was very kind, generous, always willing to help,” Crenwelge said of his friend. “He never let himself stay down. He always pulled himself up to his feet when he had a problem.
“He was a really strong person.”
Thomason’s mother lives in Montgomery County.
His father is retired from the military and works in Arizona. According to the father, Thomason’s two younger brothers and a younger sister live in the Philippines, and his older sister lives in Richmond.
Thomason was a 2006 graduate of Thomas Dale High School in Richmond. He also was a member of Delta Chi fraternity in Radford.
An initial press release from Radford police indicated Thomason’s fall appeared to have been accidental and that it occurred early Saturday morning.
Police later said further investigation determined “the victim was pushed…after being assaulted” and that the incident occurred early Sunday morning.
Police say Thomason was found unconscious just after 3 a.m. when they and rescue personnel responded to a report that a male subject had fallen and was unconscious.
Thomason initially was transported to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, then later airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Ritter and Thomason apparently did not know each other, and neither lived at the apartment complex, police said.
The Thomason family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home chapel.
Interment will follow in Sunset Cemetery in Christiansburg.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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