EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Family of man killed in Lake Murray boat crash gets settlement

tflach@thestate.comMay 11, 2014 

Steven Miller cries during his bond hearing Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 in connection with a May 1 boating accident on Lake Murray. Miller was charged with two counts of felony BUI. He was driving the boat in which two men were killed after being struck by another watercraft. Columbia, SC 8/19/10 Gerry Melendez/gmelendez@thestate.com

GERRY MELENDEZ — Gerry Melendez

— The family of a man killed in a late-night boat crash on Lake Murray in May 2010 is receiving a $77,200 settlement from the insurer for a friend who operated the vessel, court records show.

The payment is going to the family of Randall Carter of Irmo, who died after the boat driven by Steven Miller collided with another vessel.

Miller admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to a settlement that says it was reached to give him “peace from litigation and save the expense of trial.”

The settlement could be a prelude to resolving criminal charges against Miller.

Prosecutors waited until a settlement was reached in the other crash — a nearly simultaneous collision in which two women died — before proceeding to trial.

Efforts to reach officials at the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s office were unsuccessful.

Miller faces two counts of felony boating under the influence of alcohol. The boat he drove also didn’t display lighting required at night, authorities have said.

In a lawsuit that led to the settlement, Carter’s family contended that Miller’s boat was speeding and out of control.

David Porth of the Gilbert area, operator of the boat that collided with the one driven by Miller, faces one count of boating under the influence.

Carter was on a late-night trip with Miller and another friend on the way to camp on an island in the lake when the crash happened, authorities say.

Carter and Matthew Kyle Howk of Columbia were killed in the crash. Howk’s family is not pursuing damages from Miller.

The pair of fatal crashes occurred minutes apart between Susie Ebert and Flotilla islands in the heavily traveled northeastern corner of the lake in the Ballentine area.

It was the deadliest day on the 47,500-acre lake in recent memory.

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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