McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 9, 2014

Autopsy report released in July 4 hit and run Eufaula boating crash

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — An autopsy report released Wednesday could lead to charges against a McAlester man involved in a July 4 death during a hit-and-run boat accident.

Gary McIninch, 55, died after he was ejected from a pontoon boat that was hit by a 20-foot ski boat allegedly piloted by McAlester resident  Ryan Shumway.

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

A report ,obtained by the News-Capital from the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner states McIninch died from complications of blunt force trauma of the torso, that he had lacerations to the scalp, fractures of the rib and vertebrae, and spinal cord transection.

The type of death is listed as “violent, unusual or unnatural.”

No arrests were made in the case, but Shumway was identified in an accident report filed by the Oklahoma Lake Patrol. Four days after the accident, Shumway came forward to investigators through his attorney and made himself and his boat available for the investigation, according to District 25 District Attorney Rob Barris.

In October, McIninch’s wife said the loss of her husband was magnified by the fact that she feels like nothing was being done and no arrests have been made.

“I want the person responsible for my husband’s death to be charged,” she said.

District 25 District Attorney Rob Barris had said the autopsy report was needed before a decision about the charges could be made. On Thursday Barris said he had not seen the medical examiner’s report and that the case was still open.

“I just requested more information yesterday,” he said Thursday.

A phone number for Shumway has been disconnected and he could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Warren Gotcher, has also declined comment.

According to report filed by the Oklahoma Lake Patrol, several witnesses reported a boat hit a pontoon carrying 10 people, including McIninch, on July 4 at Lake Eufaula. After hitting the pontoon, the ski boat landed atop a nearby boat that had four people on board.

The witnesses said the boat pilot circled the accident scene and then left, the report states.

A boat driven by an off-duty police officer stopped to help. Two of McIninch’s granddaughters were injured and hospitalized after the accident, the patrol report states.

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

The investigating trooper also stated in the report that “he believes that alcohol also played a factor but cannot conclude due to the fact that Shumway left the scene and did not come forward until four days later.”

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.