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Man charged with homicide in deadly July Georgia boat crash

December 4, 2021 GMT

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Macon man has been charged with homicide by vessel after a July boat crash killed one man and injured six others on a Georgia lake.

Local news outlets report that 57-year-old Eric Head surrendered Wednesday at the Atlanta airport. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources charged Head with two counts of homicide by vessel, two counts of serious injury by vessel, one count of boating under the influence and one count of reckless operation following a late night boat crash on Lake Tobesofkee, near Macon, on July 24.

The collision killed 22-year-old William Childs and injured six of his restaurant coworkers, all aboard a pontoon boat.

Officials arrested two other Maconites, 36-year-old Nathan Hodgson and 35-year-old Stephen Harper. Both were charged with hindering apprehension and making false statements to law enforcement.

The Telegraph of Macon reports Head was ordered held without bail at the Bibb County jail on Thursday after a hearing before a magistrate.

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Head’s attorney, Robert E. Cabe, wrote Thursday that Head, who had been out of state prior to his arrest, “planned his return to Georgia immediately upon learning about these charges.”

“I thank the DNR’s professionalism in that regard and look forward to addressing the merits of this case in court,” Cabe wrote in an email to the newspaper.

Hodgson and Harper are no longer jailed in Bibb County. It’s unclear if either of them have lawyers.

Arrest warrants allege that Head, an aircraft mechanic who lives at an apartment complex on the lake, was under the influence of alcohol and at the helm of a 32-foot Fountain powerboat he was driving “in a reckless manner at an excessive speed” when it struck a 24-foot Bentley pontoon boat around 1:30 a.m.