LAKE MURRAY, SC (WIS) - Authorities with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have released new information concerning a fatal boat crash on Lake Murray that killed two men Friday.
Investigators say although it has not been determined who initially hit whom, it is apparent that the larger boat involved in the collision went over the smaller boat as the two collided. Whether or not alcohol was a factor in the crash is still under investigation.
Both of the men who died were on the smaller boat. Officials released their identities Saturday night.
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the body of Mark Daniel Phillips, 37, of Columbia was recovered shortly after the incident, which happened at approximately 11:10 p.m near Dreher Island and Crystal Lake. An autopsy performed on Saturday revealed that Mr. Phillips died from blunt force trauma sustained in the collision.
At approximately 5:00 on Saturday afternoon, DNR recovered the body of Christopher Shawn Lanier, 28, of Blythewood, Fisher said. An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday to determine Mr. Lanier's cause of death.
Officials said a total of six people were on a 32-foot Intrepid powerboat and a 16-foot bass boat when the two vessels collided. Captain Robert McCullough with DNR said at least three people were taken to area hospitals with injuries.
The Lexington County Sheriff's Department and the Newberry County Sheriff's Department are assisting DNR in the investigation.
Although charges have not been filed at this time, authorities say it is still possible.