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Crash victim identified

February 27, 2009|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Special to The Herald-Mail

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Police on Friday identified Adam G. Ridler, 21, of Ranson, W.Va., as the victim of a fiery one-car crash early Tuesday on Flowing Springs Road between Charles Town and Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Ridler's body, which was burned beyond recognition, was sent to the state medical examiner's office for identification, according to investigating officer Sgt. Shannon Sell of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Sell said Ridler, of 461 Cranes Lane, died from traumatic injuries and that he was dead when the car caught fire.

While it took several days for the medical examiner's office to identify Ridler through dental and medical records supplied by a family physician, Guy Ridler said he knew late Tuesday morning that his son had died in the accident.

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"He didn't come home," Guy Ridler said. "We knew for sure."

Guy Ridler said he and his son worked together at Remodeling Specialties, the family business.

"He didn't come to work that day," he said.

Guy Ridler said a deputy sheriff called him Tuesday morning and told him he suspected that his son died in the crash.

Adam Ridler was driving a 1996 BMW sedan that was so burned investigators said they could not tell if it was a car or truck.

According to police, Ridler lost control on a sharp curve on Flowing Springs Road about a half-mile from its intersection with W.Va. 230. He was southbound, heading toward Charles Town.

The car went off the left side of the road, struck two poles, flipped and landed on its roof near a large tree. The trunk of the tree was badly charred.

Later this week, the tree had been turned into a memorial with artificial flowers and bouquets placed at its base. Guy Ridler said his son's friends left the flowers. 

Adam Ridler graduated from Jefferson High School. He enjoyed wrestling in middle school and high school, his father said.

He is survived by his mother, Sheila, and brothers, Ryan, Christopher, Jason, Aaron, Jonathon, Braxton and Zachariah. Adam was the fourth oldest, born between Jason and Aaron.

The family moved to Ranson two years ago. Before that, they lived outside of Shepherdstown and in Braxton County, W.Va., Guy Ridler said.

A memorial service will be March 8 at Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home in Harpers Ferry.

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