As an investigator in the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office’s Internal Affairs Unit, Cpl. Rick Hall took his job very seriously.
However, according to his supervisor, Hall also knew just when — and how — to lighten the mood.
“Rick had a way of relieving the stress through his wonderful sense of humor,” Sgt. Warren Blanton said. “You could always count on him to brighten your day, even when you were the target of his playful attacks.”
Hall, 45, died in a two-vehicle crash Sept. 16 in Bryan County. His funeral service was held Monday at Fairhaven Funeral Home and Crematory in Garden City.
“He will be missed more than I can explain,” Blanton said. “He already is.”
Possibly no one will miss him more than his fiancée, Tiffany Schuman. Hall and Schuman were to be married Oct. 17.
Blanton said he and his wife, Jennifer, often spent time outside of work with Hall and his fiancée. They would enjoy cookouts and other get-togethers, or take in one of Hall’s gigs as the lead singer of a band.
Whatever they were doing, Blanton said, Hall made it a good time.
“Rick was the funniest guy I’ve ever known,” he said. “He had a comeback for just about anything, and it was spot-on.”
Hall had been a deputy with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years, including the past two in Internal Affairs. He “dearly loved” the assignment in Internal Affairs, according to his obituary.
His previous assignments included the Sex Offender Registration Team and patrol with the Chatham County Police. Hall also was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Rick was my friend, my co-worker, and I absolutely consider him to be my family,” Blanton said.
Hall was born in Savannah, grew up in Bloomingdale and was a graduate of Tompkins High School, according to his obituary. He was heading to his home in Ellabell when the fatal crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. Sept. 16 on Highway 280, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gena Bilbo said.
Hall was driving an unmarked patrol car. He was considered to be still on duty because he had not yet arrived home, Bilbo said.
Hall was driving west on Highway 280 just east of Interstate 16 when he attempted a U-turn, three witnesses told Georgia State Patrol investigators. His car was hit on the driver’s side by a Ford F-150 pickup, according to the GSP report.
His reason for making the U-turn is not known.
“We might not ever know why,” said Sgt. Chris Nease of the Georgia State Patrol.
The pickup driver, a 22-year-old Pembroke woman, was taken to a local hospital, investigators said. A small child was a passenger in the truck and was not injured, according to the GSP report.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and the young child was restrained in a rear-facing car seat, the report states.
Hall is survived by his father and stepmother, John and Clisty Hall, of Ellabell; a brother, Steven Wayne Hall, and his wife, Christy, of Rincon; a sister, Jennifer Hall Roberson, and her husband, Michael, of Ellabell; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins; and his extended family from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.
“To know Rick was to love Rick,” Blanton said.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that contributions be made to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office (Wounded Warriors Fund).