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UPDATE – Identity of Cabin Cruiser Owner/Operator involved in fatal boat accident identified

By  | June 27, 2019 | Filed under: News

FLORENCE – Responding to numerous media requests for the identity of the owner / operator of the cabin cruiser involved in the fatal Shoal Creek boating accident of June 8, The Quad Cities Daily has uncovered the individual’s name. We have made numerous requests to the Alabama Department of Law Enforcement to release the information as to the identity of the second boater in this tragic incident, which has for unknown reasons, been kept from the public.

Lauderdale District Attorney Chris Connoly late this afternoon, after discussing the matter with Regional ALEA Captain Matt Brooks, released the name of the second boater.

We still don’t have the full gamut if personal information on the owner / operator, just his name. It is Mark McBryer, address as-yet undetermined.

Lauderdale County DA Chris Connolly

District Attorney Connolly told us that Mr. McBryer has been cooperating with ALEA since the beginning of the investigation.

The accident happened about 10:50PM, June 8, on Shoal Creek past the no-wake zone and before the mouth of the creek, which flows into Lake Wilson. Details are still sketchy, but from what we have learned, the two boats, McBryer’s and a runabout operated by Ross (Trey) Wooten III, collided. The accident resulted in the deaths of two passengers on Wooten’s boat, 37 year old Lauren Elizabeth Gardner Cowart and her five year old daughter Blakely Elizabeth, were killed in the accident. Wooten was  severely injured and was airlifted to Huntsville Hospital for treatment of his wounds. He was hospitalized for about a week to recover. His 4 year-old son, was rescued by two fishermen and possibly a third fisherman, from the runabout which had been sliced in half. There were apparently no serious injuries on the McBryer Cabin Cruiser. D.A. Connolly says that Wooten has been cooperating with ALEA in their investigation.

No charges have been filed on either operator, as this case, according to Connolly, which will be going before a Grand Jury once the ALEA investigation is complete.

Wooten’s attorney, John Odem of Florence told The Quad Cities Daily his client asserts that he was not operating his vessel in an unsafe manner.

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