South Carolina Family Fights for Tougher Boating Laws After Dad Is Killed by Alleged Drunk Boater

The Kiser family were on their new pontoon boat when they were slammed into by another boat. Shawn Kiser was severely injured, and her husband was killed in the collision. And their story is unfortunately not a one-off.

The family of a South Carolina man killed when an alleged intoxicated boater slammed into their boat says boater safety laws are lax and need to change. In the wake of their loss, they’re calling for mandatory training for anyone who operates a boat.

The Kiser family were on their way home after taking their new pontoon boat out on Lake Murray when they were slammed into by a power boat driven by Tracy Gordon on Sept. 21, 2019. 

“I couldn’t catch my breath,” Morgan Kiser told Inside Edition. “It hurt so bad. I knew that I was being crushed."

The collision killed Morgan’s father Stanley and left Morgan’s mother Shawn permanently maimed. Shawn’s injuries sustained in the crash were so severe that she needed to have her leg amputated.

Gordon was arrested and charged with three counts of boating under the influence and reckless homicide by operation of a boat. He declined to comment when approached by Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero and asked if he was drunk when he crashed into the Kiser family’s boat.

The Kiser family’s tragedy is unfortunately not unique.

Just last year, boating accidents resulted in 658 deaths, officials said. And across the country, intoxicated boaters are wreaking havoc on the water.

In Sarasota, Florida, cops said one man was twice the legal limit when he allegedly crashed a yacht into a marina filled with boats.

In Michigan, a man was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after police said he intentionally rammed into the back of another boat.

And on a recent ride along with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Inside Edition watched as Sergeant Hogan Tyler and his team stopped a man for operating a boat without any lights. He admitted he was drinking but passed a field sobriety test and was not charged.

In South Carolina, where Stanley Kiser was killed, adults can get behind the wheel of a boat without any type of mandatory educational training. Now in the wake of their tragedy, Morgan and Shawn Kiser are spear-heading a tireless effort to push lawmakers to pass tougher boater safety laws.

“Just trying to save other people,” Morgan tearfully said.

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