Driver in deadly Shoals Creek boat crash not indicted by Lauderdale County Grand Jury

Lauren Cowart and her 5-year-old daughter, Blakely, died in the crash.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 3:56 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 3:57 PM

A grand jury determined on Friday to not indict Mark McBryer, a boat driver in a deadly crash on Shoals Creek in June.

Lauren Cowart and her 5-year-old daughter, Blakely, were killed on June 8th when a boat they were on collided with a large cruiser that was driven by McBryer. Ross Wooten was driving the boat occupied by Cowart, her daughter and Wooten's 4-year-old son.

Wooten was indicted in early September for two counts of manslaughter. The district attorney's office said his blood alcohol content was 0.121. Read more on that here.

According to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, the grand jury’s focus during Friday's session was on McBryer’s actions after the crash. He says after the collision, McBryer drove his boat from the crash to a nearby marina, and all occupants of McBryer’s boat remained at the marina until they were cleared to leave by investigators.

The District Attorney's Office says based on GPS data from McBryer’s boat, the crash happened at approximately 10:34 p.m. on June 8th, and the first 911 call after the crash was from a passenger on McBryer’s boat at 10:35 p.m. Connolly says two more calls were made by passengers on McBryer’s boat within minutes after the first call.

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