The state Department of Natural Resources early Wednesday identified the 9-year-old boy killed in Monday night's hit-and-run boat collision that left the boy's older brother missing.
Recovery efforts resumed Wednesday for 13-year-old Griffin Prince, who is still missing after the late-night accident that also took the life of his 9-year-old brother, Jake Prince, DNR spokeswoman Melissa Cummings said.
The brothers, both Gwinnett County students, were on a pontoon boat driven by their father, Michael Prince. Their mother was also among the 13 people on the boat when it collided with a fishing boat allegedly driven by Paul J. Bennett, 44, of Cumming.
Bennett, who faces possible homicide charges, was arrested and charged with boating under the influence early Tuesday morning at Bald Ridge Marina in Cumming, not far from the crash site, according to Maj. Walter Rabon of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Bennett's boat, a 21-foot Sea Fox fishing boat built in 2002, was found tied to another vessel at the marina.
Dive teams from Forsyth and Hall counties resumed their search Wednesday morning for Griffin Prince, who was thrown from the pontoon boat Bennett is alleged to have hit.
Ann Marie Freudenstein, a relative of the boys, confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Prince family owns and operates Grass Shack, a boat retailer in Buford.
Jake Prince was a rising 4th grader at White Oak Elementary School, while Griffin Prince would have been in the 8th grade this fall at Lanier Middle School, according to Gwinnett County Schools spokesman Jorge Quintana.
DNR Ranger First Class Mitchell Crump called the search for the older brother, which began at 11:30 p.m. Monday, a recovery effort. Divers on Thursday descended to depths of up to 100 feet in waters of "zero" visibility near Buford Dam and Lake Lanier Islands, Crump said.
Four families -- 13 people in all, with 9 children -- were on the pontoon boat when the crash occurred around 10:30 p.m., DNR officials said.
All had to be pulled to shore by firefighters, said Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell. A physician who was bass fishing nearby also rendered aid to the injured.
Five people on the pontoon boat were treated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and have been released, DNR Law Enforcement Section Maj. Stephen Adams said late Tuesday morning.
Adams said a ranger on the night shift remembered seeing a vessel that matched the description of the boat in the hit-and-run earlier at Bald Ridge. Bennett was found at the marina and arrested after the ranger found evidence his boat had been involved in a collision.
An unidentified woman was also on the boat when the arrest took place but has not been charged.
Bennett owns a hair salon in Johns Creek. Neighbor Lori Johnson told Channel 2 Action News that Bennett and his wife recently moved out of their home on Fox Creek Drive and are separated.
Bennett was released on bond Tuesday. Adams said the man may face additional charges, including homicide by vessel and failure to render aid, once the investigation is complete.
Dave Campbell, who has a boat at Bald Ridge, said Bennett has lived on a houseboat at the marina for several months. He called Bennett "hardworking and extremely likable."
"I don't think he has a bad bone in his body," Campbell said.
Investigators believe the collision was virtually head-on. The damage to the pontoon is on its right side, which has a green light that would give it right of way. But Adams said he did not want to speculate on the directions of the boats until accident reconstruction teams perform their work.
"It's a direct impact regardless of the direction," Adams said. Both boats were moving when the collision occurred, he said, adding that the suspect's boat "was going faster."
"There's a lot of damage to the pontoon boat," Adams said. "That didn't happen by being bumped."
Adams said that while boating is a safe activity, "especially at night, it can be dangerous if you are under the influence, not paying attention or operating recklessly."
-- Staff writers Steve Visser, Christopher Hong and Alexis Stevens contributed to this article.
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