Utah man arrested in fatal Lake Powell boating accident

Houseboats in the buoy field at Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell, Utah, date unspecified | File photo courtesy of Nathan Zaugg, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 21-year-old Utah man has been arrested on suspicion of being drunk when a boat he was driving smashed into a rock at Lake Powell, causing a woman to be killed when she was thrown from the boat.

Triston Harrison booking photo, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Kane County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

A probable cause statement says Triston Brady Harrison was arrested Friday after the fatal accident when he showed multiple signs of being intoxicated.

The victim wasn’t identified in court documents, but the Gephardt Daily News reported that friends and family have identified her as Jayla Ann Hiatt, of Spanish Fork. She was 18.

Harrison was arrested on suspicion of three charges related to the incident, including DUI and automobile homicide.

He is jailed in Kane County. It’s unknown if he has an attorney. He had not yet been charged as of Monday.

Court documents show Harrison has previously pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing and drug and weapons charges.

Jayla Ann Hiatt was killed in a boating accident on Lake Powell, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Glade’s Drive-Inn Facebook page, St. George News

In December 2016, when he was 19, he pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor charge of purchase, possess, consume by minor – measurable amount. In February 2018 he completed substance abuse treatment.

Fox 13 reported that James Hamilton witnessed the boat hit the rocks and said people were “hurled from the boat” just north of Hall’s Crossing near Moki Canyon.

Investigators determined Harrison was negligent in operating the boat and was aware of but consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk to his passengers.

He failed to keep an adequate distance from another vessel towing a tube and failed to obey navigational buoys.

Officers smelled the strong odor of alcoholic beverages coming from Harrison, and observed his eyes to be glossy and bloodshot, the court documents indicate.

Hamilton told Fox 13 he watched from a distance as Harrison was handcuffed and taken away in a park ranger boat.

The Associated Press, Gebhardt Daily News and Fox 13 contributed to this report.

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