Widow: ‘I miss my husband;’ no charges filed in fatal hit-and-run boating crash
EUFAULA, Okla. -It has been an agonizing six months for Linda McIninch.
She said, “I miss my husband more than anything in this world. He’s not here. We just went through Christmas. We just went through his birthday.”
On the Fourth of July at Lake Eufaula, her husband, Gary McIninch, was killed in a hit-and-run boating accident.
McIninch said, “The next thing I remember is coming out of the water and going to the front of the boat, the pontoon, and he was gone.”
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s report, a ski boat with no lights slammed into the McIninch’s pontoon boat going at least 30 miles per hour.
Two of McIninch’s granddaughters were also injured.
It took authorities two days to find Gary McIninch’s body in the water.
The driver of the ski boat fled the scene, but 30-year-old Ryan Shumway turned himself in to authorities four days later.
Six months after the accident, no charges have been filed.
McIninch said, “We have nothing to show for that. Nothing. I mean he’s gone and this man’s still walking the streets.”
The McIntosh County district attorney says he’s waiting on the medical examiner’s report, but that the most likely charge could be leaving the scene of an accident, which is only a misdemeanor.
McIninch said, “If you kill someone, how can you leave the scene of an accident? Go and get your story straight or whatever, hire an attorney, turn yourself in days later and then get slapped on the wrist? I mean he literally took a man from us.”
She feels the penalty for leaving the scene of a boating accident needs to be tougher, to keep this kind of tragedy from happening again.
She said, “If you are involved in an accident, no matter what, drinking, otherwise, it doesn’t matter. At least stay there and make sure that everybody’s okay. If you don’t, then by golly you better be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Investigating troopers suspected that alcohol played a role in the crash but since Shumway fled the scene, there was no way to test for that.
The district attorney says they are still working on the case, but that this has been a longer time period than he would prefer.