Operator in fatal boating accident charged with manslaughter

LAKE HAVASU CITY – A California man has been charged in the deaths of two passengers, after a fatal Lake Havasu boating accident last June.

Mohave County prosecutors filed charges of manslaughter against Brian Simmons, 49, of Hawthorne, California, in reference to the deaths of Los Angeles resident Jennifer Martin and Redondo Beach resident Bruce Buchanan last year. Simmons has also been charged with three counts of endangerment of the surviving passengers.

On June 10, Mohave County deputies and other public safety agencies were dispatched to Lake Havasu’s South Basin in reference to a single-boat accident. The boat, operated by Simmons, was carrying five other passengers when Simmons made a sharp turn, according to initial reports from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. All of the boat’s occupants were ejected into the water, five of whom were rescued by nearby witnesses. Martin could not be located, and Buchanan was unconscious and unresponsive when emergency responders arrived. He was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Mohave County Sheriff’s Deputies patrolled a search area one mile wide, from Thompson Bay to Body Beach, searching for Martin. Martin’s body was found 43 feet beneath the surface of Lake Havasu, three days later.