Family of Hit-and-Run Victim: Don’t Drink and Boat

Saturday, May 26th 2018, 7:07 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

It's been five years since Gary McIninch lost his life on Lake Eufaula. One of his daughters returned to the Lake for the first time since the crash with a message for everyone out on the water.

07/07/2013 Related Story: OHP: Fatal Hit-And-Run Lake Eufaula Boater Identified

"I can't believe it's taken me five years to come back. It's hard," said Tonia Foster surrounded by her family. "He is our hero. He literally moved his grandkids out of the way. He is our hero."

Ryan Shumway pleaded guilty in 2015 to being drunk, speeding and crashing his boat near Eufaula Cove.

Gary and his family were stopped on the water and had just finished watching Fourth of July fireworks when Shumway's boat slammed into them. That's the moment Gary's family says he made his last decision saving the lives of his granddaughters, Tori and Briana.

08/21/2015 Related Story: Man Pleads Guilty To Fatal Lake Eufaula Boat Crash

The family says what happened was preventable.

"Just think twice before you get out there and drink and drive. Because it's not just your own life, it's everybody else's life you have to worry about as well. That's all I ask," said Tonia.

So, they're asking to everyone to plan ahead and designate a driver if you plan to drink on the water.

"I don't want anybody thinking that we don't drink. Because we do. I drink, my daughter drinks She drinks. We do this. But make sure you know someone's going to take care of you," said Linda McIninch, Gary’s wife.

The family says they hope no one else has to experience losing a loved one because of someone else's decision to drink.