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UPDATE: Cumming Man Charged in Fatal Boat Collision

A Cumming man was charged with boating under influence in collision that killed boy, 9. A teen is still missing, and DNR confirms the boys are brothers.

Update (3 p.m. Tuesday)

Melissa Cummings, spokesperson with Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division, confirms that the 9-year-old boy who was killed and the 13-year-old boy who is still missing are brothers.

Update (12:05 p.m. Tuesday)

An arrest has been made in the case involving a fatality from a boating collision Monday at Lake Lanier, according to the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

At a news conference Tuesday morning, DNR officials announced the arrest of Paul J. Bennett, 44, of Cumming, the operator of the boat that struck a pontoon boat, and charged him with boating under the influence.

According to investigators, Bennett left the scene of the crash. A DNR ranger responding to the accident saw the boat he was operating as it entered . Investigators later returned to the marina and found the boat.

DNR officials arrested Bennett at about 1:30 a.m. at the marina. A woman riding in the boat with Bennett at the time of the collision was not arrested.

The search for the 13-year-old continues involving divers from agencies including Forsyth, Hall, and Gwinnett counties, as well as DNR’s side-scan sonar, a device used to find and identify objects underwater.

Three others on the pontoon boat were injured in the incident. They were treated and released from an area hospital.

The pontoon boat was also recovered.

Original Post (9:55 a.m. Tuesday)

One child was killed and another is missing after a boating accident late Monday on Lake Lanier.

Rick Lavender of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) told Cumming Patch that two boats collided about 10:30 p.m. Monday in the Shoal Creek area of Lake Lanier [near Lake Lanier Islands].

"The collision left a 9-year-old child dead and a 13-year-old missing," said Lavender. "Obviously we are continuing to investigate and at this point we are still searching for the 13-year-old."

WSB TV reported that emergency crews at the scene said, "A large fishing boat collided with a pontoon boat." As many as 13 people were on the pontoon boat. The other boat fled the scene, authorities said.

Lavender would not confirm at this time whether alcohol was involved in Monday night's incident.

But Melissa Cummings with DNR did state in an e-mail to Cumming Patch, "An arrest has been made of the driver of the boat that struck the pontoon."

This comes on the heels of an accident on . Authorities continue to urge caution on the lake as the boating season picks up. Last year there were 11 fatalities on Georgia lakes and 109 boating accidents. There also were 168 boating under the influence arrests.

Cumming Patch will have more updates on this incident.

If you're interested in this story, here are a few others:

Sharon Swanepoel contributed to this article.

No Name June 20, 2012 at 04:27 AM
So sad when people can't drink responsibly.
jan June 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM
So sad these parents have lost their precious children because someone else decided to drink and drive a boat. We cant even phantom their grief. The fact that is was an avoidable death only amplifies the grief I am sure. My heart breaks for this family.
Wayne A. June 20, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I can't fathom the grief the family is feeling. I have two young children myself. I am afraid that what is going to compound their grief further is how our 'justice system' handles this. I predict the drunken boater will serve 5 years max. Someone recklessly drinks and destroys your family. You get a life sentence of grief and loss; they get 5 years. That's what passes for justice in this country. Something has to change.

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