Man indicted in Shoals boat crash that killed Ga. woman, 5-year-old daughter

Man indicted in Shoals boat crash that killed Ga. woman, 5-year-old daughter

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly has announced an indictment for a fatal boat wreck in June.

Two boats collided in Shoals Creek near Killen on June 8. 37-year-old Lauren Cowart and her daughter, 5-year-old Blakely Cowart, were killed. They were from the Augusta, Georgia area.

A grand jury has indicted 33-year-old Ross “Trey” Newton Wooten III on two counts of manslaughter. Bond has been set at $50,000.

The indictment states that Wooten was under the influence at the time of the crash. The Department of Forensic Sciences report states Wooten had a blood alcohol content of 0.121. This is above the legal limit of 0.08.

Ross Wooten
Ross Wooten (Source: Lauderdale County Detention Center)

Wooten turned himself into the Lauderdale County Jail after Tuesday’s press conference.

Investigators say Wooten was driving the boat with the Cowarts and his 4-year-old son. Wooten’s son was sitting in his lap at the time of the crash. Lauren and Blakely Cowart were in the passenger seat.

“The primary focus of the investigation up to this point has been determining who was at fault in causing the deaths of these two precious people. The grand jury’s indictment has answered that question in determining that “Trey" Wooten recklessly caused their deaths,” said Connolly.

Connolly said there is a secondary issue concerning the other boat’s driver. He said a grand jury will be investigating whether the driver left the scene of a crash, endangering those still onboard Wooten’s boat. It will come to a decision later this month.

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