New details in fatal boating wreck on Intracoastal Waterway

 New details in fatal boating wreck on Intracoastal Waterway

New details have emerged in Sunday night’s deadly boating accident that led to criminal charges against the boat driver.

A boating accident report from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources details the circumstances surrounding the boat crash on the Intracoastal Waterway in Socastee.

The report shows that five people — four passengers and one driver — were aboard the 2007 Tracker Tahoe when it crashed into a metal walkway connecting a pier to a dock. Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the crash about 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Corey Parag, of Myrtle Beach, died from blunt force trauma he sustained in the crash, the boating accident report states. Parag was 28.

John Kody Ray, of Surfside Beach, faces criminal charges in the crash that led to Parag’s death. Ray was the boat’s driver, according to his arrest warrants. Ray is charged with boating under the influence resulting in a death and two counts of violation of watercraft regulations. Ray is 27.

According to the warrants from the DNR — the agency that charged him — Ray was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when driving the boat. Police officers who arrived to the scene of the crash smelled a “strong odor” of alcohol on Ray, who was “unsteady on his feet.” Police officers found alcoholic beverages in the boat and Ray admitted to drinking alcohol and taking shots of liquor, according to the warrants.

The DNR obtained a warrant to collect a blood sample to screen Ray’s blood-alcohol level and the results are pending.

Ray’s two other charges, for violation of watercraft regulations, came about because there were no personal or throw-able flotation devices found on the boat, according to the warrants.

Two other passengers sustained minor injuries for which they were treated at the hospital, according to the report.

The boat, which the report states was a rental, sustained damage near where Parag was seated on the boat.

The report shows that weather did not contribute to the accident — that the sky was clear, visibility was good and water conditions were calm.

Ray was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Monday about 2 a.m. and remains there, according to the jail website. His bail was set at $21,000. His next Horry County court date is scheduled for August.

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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