Sister decries 'stupid prank' Trucker struck by rock, killed is remembered for faith, hard work

November 03, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The sister of Ricky Orlando Bradby, a Virginia trucker who was killed in Stevensville on Friday by a rock that was thrown through the windshield of his tractor-trailer as a Halloween prank, described her brother yesterday as a hard-working man who was trying to provide for his wife and children when he died.

"My brother was a very religious man. If he thought the men who did this had learned their lesson, he would not want to see them go to jail. But as far as the family is concerned, they should get their just punishment," said Debbie Jones, Bradby's only sister.

Bradby died Friday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was 32.

His wife, Shereen, 31, was too distraught yesterday to talk to a reporter, Jones said. The couple's children, Ricky Jr., 10, and Sheree, 6, were being cared for by relatives, she said.

"It's just not fair," Jones said. "Ricky and Shereen were high school sweethearts. They had planned a life together. And now, because of a stupid prank, Ricky's gone."

According to police, Bradby of Charles City, Va., was traveling on U.S. 50 in Stevensville shortly after midnight Friday when a 2-pound rock was thrown through his front windshield, hitting him on the head and forcing him to drive his tractor-trailer into a ditch. He died several hours later of severe head trauma.

No one else was injured, police said.

Three Chester men were arrested Friday in Bradby's death. Donte James Watkins, 19, Rico Carrol Gaines, 19, and Derrick Andre Hines, 20, were being held last night at the Queen Anne's County Detention Center in Centreville. All three men were charged with reckless endangerment and second-degree assault, police said.

Additional charges may be filed today by the state's attorney's office in Queen Anne's County. Each of the men was held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

"Apparently, they were on the side of the road, throwing rocks at oncoming vehicles," said state police Sgt. Laura Lu Herman. "We had received several calls from motorists whose vehicles had been struck and were responding to the area when Mr. Bradby was hit."

State police arrived at the scene moments after Bradby had been struck, Herman said.

"I'm glad they got caught; they deserve to be punished," Jones said of the suspects, before starting to cry. "They took away my only brother."

Several of Bradby's relatives gathered at his father's home yesterday to pray and offer comfort to his family, said Charlotte Johnson, 35, Bradby's cousin. The minister of Bradby's church also visited.

"The men who did this were old enough to know better, old enough to know that pranks like this are no joke," Johnson said. "What happened to Ricky should happen to them."

Watkins' father, reached at a relative's home yesterday, said his son was not responsible for the incident and urged anyone with information about the crime to go to the police.

"My son is a good boy, raised in the church. He knows right from wrong," said James Watkins. "One of the other boys must have influenced him. Donte's always been a follower. I'm praying that anyone with any information about what happened will come forward and testify."

The men were arrested at their homes on Friday morning.

Watkins was cited in September as a minor in possession of alcohol, according to court records.

Gaines, who recently moved to Chester from Annapolis, is due to appear in Queen Anne's County District Court on Dec. 19 to face a theft charge stemming from a July incident, court records show.

Pub Date: 11/03/97

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