The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Police identify man who drowned at City Dock on Tuesday
The man who drowned Tuesday in the Rappahannock River has been identified as Michael McKinney, according to Fredericksburg Police.
But what led up to the drowning is still unclear, police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.
Witnesses agreed that McKinney, 43, appeared intoxicated, and that punches were thrown, Bledsoe said. Who punched whom and how McKinney got in the river at the City Dock is what police are trying to decipher.
“We have varied accounts of what happened before he ended up in the water. We’re trying to sort through all of that,” Bledsoe said.
At 1:30 p.m. Monday, bystanders called police to report McKinney trying to leave the dock on Sophia Street on his red scooter.
When an officer arrived, McKinney was underwater, and a 62-year-old man was hanging to the bulkhead wall.
Rescue crews were called, and quickly pulled the one man out of the water. By 2 p.m., divers and rescuers located McKinney’s body, began CPR and transported him to Mary Washington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The drowning is still an open investigation, Bledsoe said, as police piece together the stories from the seven or eight people interviewed.
Four people were close to the scuffle and somewhat involved, while a few more were within earshot or view, according to police.
“Everyone agrees some sort of fight took place,” Bledsoe said. All reports are consistent that McKinney had been drunk, and one person told police that he had been drinking.
Bledsoe said reports state that McKinney likely instigated the fight. But after that, some bystanders told police that he was pushed while others said he fell into the water.
The second man in the water had tried to help McKinney, Bledsoe said.
The water in front of where the paddle-wheeler City of Fredericksburg moors is about 8 feet deep.
– Katie Thisdell