Man Indicted on Homicide Charges Over Memorial Day Weekend Boat Crash that Killed 5 in Georgia

Mark Stegall was indicted on 10 counts of homicide by vessel in the first degree, six counts of serious injury by vessel, boating under the influence less safe and reckless operation

Mark Stegall, the suspect who was arrested after the deadly boat crash. Chatham County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Chatham County Sheriff's Office

A man has been indicted on homicide charges following the death of 5 people in a boat collision on Georgia's Wilmington River in May.

The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Mark Stegall, was indicted on Wednesday by a Chatham County Grand Jury on 10 counts of homicide by vessel in the first degree, six counts of serious injury by vessel, boating under the influence less safe, and reckless operation, Mark McKinnon, public affairs officer for Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division, told PEOPLE on Thursday.

Stegall was also charged with six counts of serious injury by vessel, two counts for each of the surviving victims.

Each one of these counts has a minimum of three and maximum of 15 years, per WTOC.

On May 28, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, five people were found dead and four more injured after the accident.

At the time, McKinnon told PEOPLE that Georgia game wardens responded to a boating incident near the Oatland Island Wildlife Center docks, where Richardson Creek and the Wilmington River meet in Chatham County.

Witnesses told authorities two center console boats carrying nine combined passengers — six in one vessel, and three in the other — crashed into each other head on and traveling in opposite directions. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and three were initially missing, McKinnon said.

Georgia Boat Collision.

The three bodies were later recovered by divers from the Chatham County Marine Patrol.

"The three missing victims were recovered this morning, bringing the number of deceased to five," McKinnon confirmed in a statement. "The other four passengers suffered various injuries and were transported to Memorial Health Medical Center in Savannah."

Four of the deceased individuals have been identified as a family; Christopher David Leffler, 51, of Savannah; Lori Lynn Leffler, 50, of Savannah; Zachary James Leffler, 23, of Alpharetta; Nathan Leffler, 17, of Savannah. Robert Steven Chauncey, 37, of Savannah, was also killed in the crash.

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The bodies were found in roughly 14 ft. of water in close proximity to each other, according to McKinnon. Game wardens, Chatham County Marine Patrol, Savannah Fire, Chatham Emergency Services, and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the effort. Two helicopters were also deployed to aid in the search.

The investigation was conducted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division and the Chatham County District Attorney's Office.

According to the Associated Press, it remains unclear if Stegall has retained representation.

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