Man arrested in fatal Myrtle Beach area boat crash

 Man arrested in fatal Myrtle Beach area boat crash

The driver of a boat that crashed and left a passenger dead has been charged with drunk driving a boat, state authorities said.

John Kody Ray, of Surfside Beach, was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Monday about 2 a.m., according to the jail website. Ray, 27, is charged with boating under the influence of alcohol resulting in a death and two counts of violation of navigational rules and regulations.

Ray’s bond was set at $21,000. His next court date is scheduled for August.

The boating crash, which happened Sunday night on the Intracoastal Waterway, killed one passenger and injured another. The Horry County Coroner identified the dead passenger as 28-year-old Corey Parag of Myrtle Beach.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), which is listed as the arresting agency on Ray’s jail booking, is investigating the crash.

David Lucas, public information coordinator for the SCDNR, confirmed Ray’s arrest was related to Sunday’s fatal boat crash.

The boat, which Ray was driving, hit the ramp of a floating dock on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Lucas said. The boat carried five people including Ray.

Parag and one other passenger were injured when the boat crashed. The other passenger’s injuries were minor, Lucas said.

Parag’s autopsy is scheduled for Friday, said Deputy Horry County Coroner Patty Bellamy.

Horry County court records show that in 2018, Ray was found guilty of having an open container of alcohol in a car. He was charged again with the same crime in November of last year, pending an outcome, records shows.

Officials said Horry County Fire Rescue was dispatched Sunday at 8:23 p.m. to the area of 5083 Watergate Drive on the waterway, which is just south of Arrowhead Country Club.

Both Parag and Ray attended high school in the Myrtle Beach area, according to their Facebook pages.

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Profile Image of Jenna Farhat

Jenna Farhat is a reporter covering the South Strand. She has served as the managing editor and the news editor of The Sunflower, an independent, student-run newspaper covering Wichita State University. During her time there, she won several Kansas Collegiate Media awards for her investigative reporting and for feature writing. While she served as managing editor, The Sunflower won awards from the Associated College Press and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government. She has been with The Sun News since 2020. She was born in Ohio and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She is fluent in Arabic.

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