Man charged in BUI-related fatality at Lake Blue Ridge

An Atlanta man died Saturday after the tube he was riding struck the shoreline of Lake Blue Ridge, and the driver of the boat pulling the tube has been charged with the death.

The victim was identified as David Harvey Payseur III, 47, in a press release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Deborah Brooks, 48, of Morganton, was also riding on the tube and suffered lacerations to both her legs. She was brought to the marina in the boat which had been pulling the tube. Brooks was transported to Fannin Regional Hospital and then to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.

She was reported in stable condition in Erlanger Monday, Fannin County EMS Director Darrell Payne said.

A call reporting the incident was received at the Fannin County 911 Center

at 6:04 Saturday evening, Coroner Becky Callihan said. Rob Ross, deputy fire chief, said Channing Johnstone was on the lake boating with friends when they came upon the scene near the buoys at the head of the lake.

Johnstone, who is a first responder, and his friends loaded Payseur into their boat and headed toward the marina. On the way, Payseur went into cardiac arrest and Johnstone administered CPR, Ross said.

At the marina, the patient was transferred to a waiting county ambulance and rushed to Fannin Regional Hospital. Callihan said a doctor at the hospital pronounced Payseur dead at 7:01 p.m. 

Callihan took Payseur’s body to the state crime lab where an autopsy is to be performed. As of Monday, the cause of death had not been determined.

Chad Philip Haase, 44, of Atlanta, the operator of the boat pulling the tube, was first arrested for boating under the influence, the DNR release said. After further investigation, he was also charged with homicide by vessel in the first degree, serious injury by vessel, BUI (less safe), reckless operation and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Haase was still in the Fannin County Detention Center Tuesday, according to a spokesman.

Times Courier

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