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Orange County

Boat Crash Victims All Sober

Orange County youths who died in a Colorado River crash were unimpaired, tests show.

November 15, 2003|Daniel Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County youths involved in a fatal September accident on a stretch of the Colorado River known for its party atmosphere were sober when their boat was struck by another, officials said Friday.

Test results showed that Jonathan Herbert, 21, and his sister, Jacquel, 18, both of whom were killed, had no drugs or alcohol in their systems, said La Paz County Sheriff's Sgt. Alan Nelson.

A third person killed in the accident, 18-year-old Ashley Rollins, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.02, about the equivalent of one beer, he said.

The tests were completed in Tucson last week, said Nelson, the lead investigator.

"There was absolutely zero alcohol or drugs in Jonathan Herbert's body. That's the only one that's relevant," Nelson said, because Jonathan Herbert was driving the speedboat carrying his sister, Rollins and Jacquel Herbert's boyfriend, Josh Rogers, 18.

Rogers survived and has recently returned home after being hospitalized for several weeks, said Richard Cohn, one of his attorneys. He is steadily recovering, Cohn said, but has speech and memory problems.

The driver of the other boat, 68-year-old Maywood boat-builder Grier Rush, was not tested for alcohol or drugs because he fled after the accident and turned himself in to authorities two days later.

Rush was later ordered to stand trial in Arizona for fleeing the scene of a boating accident.

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