Charges filed in fatal July boating crash at Smith Mountain Lake

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A 20-year-old Martinsville man is facing charges in connection to a deadly boating crash at Smith Mountain Lake.

According to court records, Drewry Hall is charged with operating a boat recklessly or intoxicated, getting documents to make a false statement and purchasing or possessing alcohol.

In a statement Tuesday, Hall's attorney said alcohol was not a factor in the July crash that killed 17-year-old Gabby Ayers, who was riding on a jet ski.

The 19-year-old driver of the jet ski was hurt.

Hall is scheduled to be back in court in May.

Hall's attorney released this statment on Tuesday:

We are disappointed by the decision to file a misdemeanor reckless operation charge against Drew Hall as a result of this tragic accident. We are confident that once the facts are fully disclosed, it will be determined that Drew, a licensed and experienced boat operator, did not act recklessly or otherwise cause the collision. Moreover, Drew was not charged with boating while intoxicated, and alcohol played no role in the accident.

Immediately after the jet ski and his fishing boat collided, Drew and his passenger jumped into the water without life vests and initiated a rescue. They saved the life of the jet-ski operator, but, despite their best efforts, were not able to save his passenger. Put simply, we believe that Drew could not have done anything to avoid the accident, and he acted heroically in its aftermath."

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