Alcohol appears to have been involved in Sunday’s fatal boat crash on Lake Murray, the investigating agency said Monday.
Investigators with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are still trying to determine what caused the early-morning crash at Wessinger Island on the Chapin side of Lake Murray, which killed 57-year-old Lexington resident Jimmy Gene Ayers and injured Ayers’ 23-year-old nephew. The nephew has not yet been identified.
“There appears to be alcohol involved,” said agency spokesman Capt. Robert McCullough. He would not say what led investigators to suspect alcohol involvement.
It remained unclear Monday who was operating the boat when it crashed around 6 a.m. Sunday. An autopsy Monday confirmed Ayers died of multiple traumatic injuries to the upper body.
“It appeared most of his trauma was from the windshield from the boat,” Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said. Toxicology on Ayers is pending and will take seven to 10 days, she said.
McCullough said Ayers owned the 18-foot-long bass boat, a 1973 Galaxie, that crashed into a dock at Wessinger Island. Ayers’ nephew was taken to Palmetto Health Richland with non-life threatening injuries.