Suspect in deadly Lake Murray boat crash granted bond during emotional hearing

Updated: Sep. 27, 2019 at 6:42 PM EDT

LAKE MURRAY, S.C. (WIS) - A man charged with felony BUI in a deadly boat crash on Lake Murray over the weekend was granted bond Friday morning.

Tracy Gordon, 53, was initially denied bond following the wreck on Saturday, Sept. 21 that killed 68-year-old Stanley Virgil Kiser and caused Kiser’s wife to lose her leg. Members of the family said Kiser’s wife is still in the ICU recovering.

On Friday, a judge granted Gordon a $100,000 cash surety bond.

About 30 loved ones of Kiser attended the hearing, giving emotional testimony in hopes Gordon would be denied bond. They said he should be considered a flight risk.

Sloan Kiser, the Kisers’ oldest daughter, said she was on the phone with her mother minutes after the crash happened.

“Just hearing your family dying in the background, I listened as my baby sister screamed over the phone, ‘Help! Help please!’” Sloan Kiser said. “I wake up every night hearing the screams and cries.”

Sloan Kiser told the judge she was supposed to have her father walk her down the aisle for her wedding in two weeks. She canceled her wedding.

“Instead of walking down the aisle on what is supposed to be the happiest day of my life, my wedding day, I’m actually going to be putting my daddy in the ground,” Sloan Kiser said. “How do you go from planning your wedding and walking down the aisle with your father, planning your father-daughter dance to planning your father’s funeral.”

Another one of Kisers’ daughters, who was on the boat at the time of the crash, was in tears as she told the court she will never forget the way she saw her dad on that horrific night.

“He [Gordon] made the decision to drink and drive and go on the lake. He chose to go too fast. It was so fast, we didn’t have a chance,” Morgan Kiser said. “He [Gordon] left me alone on the boat to choose between my parents and who to save. He didn’t come back to check on us. Strangers came and helped us and I’m so thankful.”

Since the crash, Morgan said she’s had trouble sleeping.

“She [Morgan] was forced to make the decision on whether or not she could try and save my mother or father and she was caught between the two. I can’t even imagine having to contemplate that.” Sloan Kiser said.

During court, Gordon’s attorney said his client was working to get help for the family.

Also in court were Gordon’s ex-wife and current wife, who also made their testimonies heard. Both women went to bat for Gordon saying he is a good guy, a family man who is not a threat to the community, nor a flight risk. Two of Gordon’s co-workers also testified on Friday.

“I met Tracy back in January of ‘98 and we’ve been teammates, friends, and coworkers for the last 21 years,” Jerry Lett said. “Tracy is a great leader.”

They went on to say, at their job, frequent drug tests are administered. Gordon had never tested positive.

Officials with SCDNR said exactly how fast both boats were going and what led up to the crash is still under investigation. Both boats did have lights at the time of the crash, according to SCDNR.

If he makes bond, Gordon will be monitored and not allowed to drink alcohol or have any contact with the family of the victims. He will not be allowed to operate a boat and will be required to wear a SCRAM ankle monitor, which will notify authorities if he consumes alcohol.

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