MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 5, 2014

Boater faces manslaughter charge

Fatal crash killed man, injured two kids on July 4 on Lake Eufaula

First-degree manslaughter charges have been filed against a man authorities say was responsible for a fatal collision on Lake Eufaula on July 4.

Ryan Shumway, 31, of McAlester was charged in McIntosh County District Court on Wednesday, and an initial appearance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday, court documents state.

Shumway was driving a 1999 Crownline 20-foot ski boat that crashed into a pontoon boat and a Stringray boat on July 4, an OHP report states.

Gary McIninch, 55, of Oklahoma City was ejected from the pontoon, and two children, ages 6 and 7, were injured. The collision occurred just after 10 p.m., as boats were leaving the fireworks display just outside of Eufaula Cove.

Shumway nor his three passengers were injured in the collision.

McIninch was ejected from the pontoon, and the operator of the ski boat circled the other boats and asked whether everyone was OK. Occupants of the pontoon and the Stingray told Shumway, allegedly the operator of the ski boat, that McIninch was missing and began to search for him.

During the search, the occupants of the other two boats noticed that the ski boat had left.

McIninch’s body was found in the water two days after he disappeared into Lake Eufaula, officials said.

A medical examiner’s report was released in January and stated that McIninch died from complications of blunt force trauma of the torso, that he had lacerations to the scalp, fractures of the rib, vertebrae and spinal cord transection.

The OHP report states Shumway told police he was traveling at about 30 mph when he hit the vessel.

Through his attorney, Shumway came forward to investigators four days after the collision. He made himself and his boat available to investigators.

Court documents state Shumway is charged with manslaughter by one of two means — “reckless or negligent operation of a vessel,” or in the alternative, he was unlawfully operating a “vessel within 50 feet of another vessel at a speed in excess of 10 mph.”

Shumway also was charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to give information and render aid at a vessel accident.

The manslaughter charge is punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of four years. The charge of failing to provide information and render aid is punishable by a fine of up to $50 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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