5 killed in Georgia boat collision; man charged

The Leffler Family
The Leffler Family(Calvary Day School)
Published: May. 29, 2022 at 10:43 PM CDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A man has been arrested in connection to a boating accident in Georgia’s Wilmington River that left five people dead over Memorial Day weekend.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources tells WTOC that 45-year-old Mark Christopher Stegall, of Savannah, was arrested and charged for boating under the influence.

Chatham Emergency Services says the call came in around 10:30 a.m. Saturday to respond to a crash between two boats, who were traveling in opposite directions on the Wilmington River when they collided. One of the boats involved sank.

The bodies of three men missing after the crash were recovered Sunday morning. They were located by game wardens in 14-foot deep water and in close proximity to each other.

Two other people involved died from their injuries at the hospital.

The victims have been identified as Christopher David Leffler, 51, Lori Lynn Leffler, 50, Zachary James Leffler, 23, Nathan Leffler, 17, and Robert Steven Chauncey, 37.

“Everyone was concerned about the people who were missing and the people who were affected by this. So, it’s a real tragic event for everyone, but most importantly for that family that lost four members,” said Capt. Chris Hodge, Region Supervisor with DNR.

Four other people were taken to the hospital.

Officials have not released a cause for the crash.

Investigators say crash reconstruction teams will be combing over evidence to hopefully find answers as to how this crash happened. They say that process could take six to eight weeks.

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