Man charged in fatal boat crash that killed Mallory Beach
BEAUFORT, S.C. (WOLO) – One man has been charged in a fatal boat crash that killed a former USC student, Mallory Beach.
Beaufort County court officials say Paul Murdaugh, 20, was indicted Thursday on one count of boating under the influence causing death.
He was also charged with two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily harm.
Officials say Murdaugh could face up to 25 years in prison for the fatal BUI charge and up to 15 years for each BUI bodily harm charge.
According to the News & Observer, the charges were filed on Beach’s birthday, she would’ve turned 20.
According to Beaufort County investigators, on February 24 after 2 a.m., Beach was one of six people, all under 21-years-old, ejected from the boat when it hit a bridge piling in Archer Creek at high speed.
Authorities say Beach was reported missing but was found a week later.
Coroner’s office says she died from drowning and blunt force trauma.
Port Royal police say they reported Murdaugh and Connor Cook as possible drivers of the boat the night of the crash.
Authorities say the remaining five people on the boat appeared to be “grossly intoxicated” but they didn’t perform sobriety tests on them.
According to the News & Observer, Murdaugh’s father, Alexander Murdaugh, is a prominent Hampton County attorney.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says Murdaugh’s father owned the boat involved in the crash.
SCDNR is investigating this incident.