Oklahoma Middle School Principal Charged With Manslaughter After Boat Crash

Monday, October 22nd 2012, 6:28 pm
By: News On 6

The principal at Jay Middle School has been charged with manslaughter.

The case stems from a boat crash this past summer.

Shane Carroll's lawyer says the middle school Principal is not guilty, but court records point to him being the person behind the wheel of a boat that crashed into a breakwater on Grand Lake.

Carroll turned himself in this weekend after learning he had been charged with first degree manslaughter and reckless operation of a vessel. He is now free on bond.

Carroll has worked for Jay Public Schools for 15 years and has been Principal at the middle school since 2003.

Charles Thomas is the district's Superintendent.

"He has been very dedicated, very hardworking, gets along with the staff, the community, the students very well," Thomas said.

The charges come nearly three months after a boat crash on Grand Lake.

Investigators say Carroll was driving a boat around 2 a.m. with three other people when it crashed.

Monte Price died in the crash, while Brian Smith and Carroll's, son Brooks Carroll, survived.

Court documents show the men admitted to buying an 18-pack of beer before getting into the boat, which crashed into a breakwater structure.

Investigators say Carroll refused to take a blood alcohol test immediately after the crash and told them, "Why are you doing this to me? I'm a principal at Jay Schools, I have a family."

Carroll's son has always maintained that his father was not piloting the boat that night, but Brian Smith says it was Carroll who was driving the boat at the time of the crash. A few weeks after the crash he got a call from one of Carroll's friends telling him to change his story and say it was Monte, the man who died, who was piloting the boat.

Carroll's attorney says that person who called was an attorney and that Smith has never been asked to lie to investigators.

Carroll was not at school Monday, and the superintendent says no decisions will be made until after everything plays out in court.

"It's something that—we all make mistakes and, hopefully, when all the facts are brought out, maybe things will be different than the perception is right now," Thomas said.

Carroll pleaded not guilty in court Monday.

His attorney says the evidence will show it was Monte Price who was driving the boat when it crashed.