JAY — A Jay Middle School principal testified Monday he wants the truth to come out about a fatal boating accident that claimed a lifelong friend.
Roger Shane Carroll, 39, of Eucha, is charged in Delaware County District Court with manslaughter in connection with the death of Monte Price, 39, of Jay.
He is also charged with reckless operation of a vessel.
“It's important for Monte's family to hear the truth of that night and about the accident,” Carroll said as he choked up.
Price and Carroll had been friends since middle school, he said.
With the trial entering into its second week, 25 witnesses have testified. The state rested its case Monday morning.
Brian Smith, 39, of Tahlequah, Brooks Carroll, 17, the elder Carroll and Price were aboard the passenger boat when it struck a breakwater structure near Arrowhead South Marina about 2 a.m. July 29, 2012.
The crash threw Smith, Price and the younger Carroll into the lake.
The elder Carroll was found near the driver's side of the vessel, according to testimony. Price's body was found the next day in about 50-feet of water in the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake.
“I was not driving the boat at the time of the accident — I did not drive it all the entire evening,” Shane Carroll testified.
Smith said he was “100 percent” sure the elder Carroll was driving the boat, according to earlier testimony.
Carroll testified to the events leading up to the crash and the moments after the crash.
Alcohol use and excessive speed contributed to the crash, according to a Grand River Dam Authority report.
Carroll testified that he and his son helped an intoxicated Smith into the boat after a stop at Ugly John's Grill and Bar.
Within minutes of leaving Ugly's, the boat slammed into a breakwater structure that measured 70 yards long and was equally as wide.
Shane Carroll testified Price was driving the boat and he was down on his knees looking at speedometer cables underneath the console.
“The next thing I remember is being with Brooks,” Carroll said, referring to the crash. “He was very emotional and upset. I felt that I let him down.”
Shane Carroll said he was frustrated and mad after the crash.
“There were three or four people that kept pushing me down on this board,” Carroll said. “I couldn't understand what was going on. I felt insecure, I had no clothes on, and three or four people were holding me down. I was frustrated Brooks wasn't here — and why weren't they looking for Monte.”
Shane Carroll said the paramedics that were attending to his injuries removed his clothes.
During cross-examination, Carroll admitted to having no more than eight beers throughout the night and a couple of sips of moonshine and a sip of Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink.
Trial testimony showed Carroll's blood alcohol level was .09 when taken almost three-and-half-hours later.
Price's blood alcohol level was .20, trial testimony showed.