No charges to be filed in case of double-fatal Lake Murray boat crash

No charges to be filed in case of double-fatal Lake Murray boat crash

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The state Department of Natural Resources says no charges will be filed in the case of a double-fatal boat crash on Lake Murray in late April.

DNR says investigators could not find enough evidence to bring charges forward in this case.

Investigators say the collision occurred around 11 p.m. when Phillips' 18' bass boat failed to give way to Bruce Dyer -- who was driving a 32-foot center console boat at 34 MPH -- when the vessels collided. Dyer, according to investigators, made a sharp turn to try and avoid the collision. Dyer's wife and another passenger were thrown overboard during that evasive attempt.

"Based upon the investigation, the bass boat had the responsibility of giving way to the center console boat," a DNR news release said.

Investigators say all parties were cooperative and forthcoming throughout the investigation. Dyer willingly handed his GPS over to officers, who used the GPS to calculate the speed and navigation track of the powerboat before and during the collision. This evidence, along with witness statements, helped in determining the nature of the accident, the news release said.

The Eleventh Circuit Solicitor's Office reviewed all of the files of the investigation and concurred with DNR's decision.

RELATED: See photos of the two men who perished in the crash.

A third passenger on the bass boat, Ash Wannamaker, has filed a lawsuit against Dyer, claiming he and the others on the Macdaddy Intrepid center console powerboat failed to render assistance following the crash despite pleas for help from Wannamaker and others who were in the area at the time.

Wannamaker was hospitalized with "severe injuries" to his abdomen, back, arms, legs, and other parts of his body after the force of the crash tossed him into the water, the lawsuit said.

However, DNR officials say Dyer rendered aid by recovering the passengers thrown from his boat, secured his boat, called 911, and directed his spotlight toward the bass boat.

"The investigation has determined Dyer's speed was not excessive, nor was there any erratic operation of his vessel. Therefore, no reckless homicide or operating charges are appropriate with regard to the center console boat," the statement said.

Dyer, meanwhile, released a statement three days after the crash.

"This is from Ginger and myself: Since that horrible accident, my wife and our friends and I have been assisting law enforcement. They've asked us to let their investigation go ahead without commenting, and our hearts and prayers are with everyone involved."



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