Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash

A former Miss Teen Oklahoma was one of two people killed in a crash involving an unoccupied house boat.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: May 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm •  Published: May 17, 2013

The state medical examiner's office Friday reported the two friends who died in a Grand Lake boating accident died from blunt force trauma.

Rachel Nicole Swetnam, 21, of Grove, and William Lewis “Trey” Varner III, 21, of Texarkana, Ark., died Tuesday when the boat they were passengers in hit a 100-foot-long, unoccupied houseboat.

Medical examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Varner died from blunt force trauma to the head, and the manner of death was an accident. Swetnam's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and her death also was ruled an accident, Elliott said.

Earlier, Justin Alberty, Grand River Dam Authority spokesman, said the investigation into the crash could take up to two weeks. Once it is complete, a report will be turned over to the district attorney's office, he said.

A preliminary report shows alcohol and speed were among contributing factors in the crash, Alberty said.

The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday near Arrowhead Yacht Club on the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake.

Swetnam and Varner were seated in the bow. They were pronounced dead at the scene.


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