Investigation into fatal Oklahoma boat crash could take two weeks

A passenger boat carrying eight college students crashed into an unoccupied houseboat on Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma, killing two students.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: May 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm •  Published: May 16, 2013

The investigation into a fatal boat crash on Grand Lake could take up to two weeks, a Grand River Dam Authority spokesman said Thursday.

“The investigation report will be turned over to the district attorney's office,” Justin Alberty said. “There are indications that alcohol and speed were among the contributing factors in the crash.”

The passenger boat carrying eight college students was pulled out of the lake Wednesday and taken to a dry storage facility, Alberty said.

Rachel Nicole Swetnam, 21, of Grove, and William Lewis “Trey” Varner III, 21, of Texarkana, Ark., died when the boat hit an unoccupied 100-foot-long houseboat about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The crash occurred near Arrowhead Yacht Club on the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake, GRDA police said.

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

The other passengers were John Deselms, of Tulsa, who was piloting the boat; Eugene DeVerges and Bryce Banham, also of Tulsa; Taylor Perry, of Springdale, Ark.; Taylor Reynolds, of Plano, Texas; and Chad Scott, of Perry, the GRDA reported.

Deselms and Scott were treated and released from Craig General Hospital in Vinita, Alberty said. GRDA has not released any of the survivors' ages.


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