LANGLEY — The driver of a boat that crashed, killing two people, had consumed 10 beers and a shot of tequila, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday.
John Deselms, of Tulsa, the driver of the 2012 Cobalt boat, also had taken a nonprescription antidepressant and admitted to smoking marijuana two days earlier, according to the 11-page Grand River Dam Authority report.
Excessive speed, alcohol and operator inattention were listed on the report as contributing factors in the fatal accident.
Rachel Nicole Swetnam, 21, of Grove, and William Lewis “Trey” Varner III, 21, of Texarkana, Ark., died May 14 when the boat struck an unoccupied 96-foot Fantasy houseboat. The crash occurred near the Arrowhead Yacht Club on the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake, GRDA police said.
Deselms was arrested that same day on a complaint of operating a vessel under the influence and was released on a medical bond, the report states.
“This is very unfortunate accident that involves several good kids with good families,” said his attorney, Winston Connor II.
Connor said he hasn't had the opportunity to review the report.
Swetnam and Varner were seated in the bow. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
The bow of the Cobalt vessel was embedded in the back wall of the houseboat, and its motor was resting on the back deck of the houseboat, the report states. Five other passengers were on the Cobalt vessel.
Varner died from blunt force trauma to the head, while Swetnam's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, according to the state medical examiner.
“My client is very depressed and grieving over the loss of two friends,” Connor said. “He is not trying to hide from his responsibility.”
Deselms, who just completed his junior year at the University of Arkansas, has never been in trouble, he said.