GRDA: Driver In Deadly Grand Lake Boat Crash Was Under the Influence

Thursday, May 23rd 2013, 1:30 pm

By: News 9

The man who was driving a speed boat that crashed into an unoccupied, docked houseboat on Grand Lake last week had been drinking before the crash, according to the Grand River Dam Authority Police.

The crash on May 14, 2013 killed Rachel Swetnam and Trey Varner. Six other people on board the board survived.

5/14/2013: Related Story: Two Dead In Boat Collision On Grand Lake

According to the preliminary report on the crash by GRDA police, the driver of the speedboat, John S. Deselms, 21, admitted to investigators that he had consumed approximately 10 beers, one shot of tequila and had taken an unknown anti-depressant that was not prescribed to him before the accident.

The report says Deselms also admitted to smoking marijuana approximately two days before the accident. He was placed under arrest and cited at the hospital for operating a vessel under the influence.

He was released on a Medical Own Recognizance Bond.

Swetnam, 21, was a graduate of Cascia Hall and was a student at the University of Arkansas. Varner, 21, was a native of Arkansas and was also a student at the university.

Read The OHP Preliminary Marine Investigation Report


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