Civil suit filed in connection with fatal boating accident

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

RICHMOND—The family of a man whose body was found on Carters Creek following a boating accident this summer has filed a lawsuit alleging a cover-up in his death.

J. Burke McCormick and Sallie T. Graham, parents of the late Graham K. McCormick, filed the $10.35 million lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court November 8, naming John Randolph “Rand” Hooper, 31, of Richmond, as the first defendant for his part in the accident and fleeing the scene. Additionally, the civil suit names Hooper’s parents, Gary L. and Lucy W. Hooper of Irvington, as defendants for allegedly helping their son cover up the crash.

Gary Hooper has declined to comment on the allegations.

McCormick, of Georgia, was 31 at the time of his death. He was visiting Rand Hooper at the Hooper Estate, 656 Glebe Road, Irvington, the weekend of August 10-13. His body was spotted on Carters Creek near the end of Weems Road by a passing boater around 11:30 a.m. August 11. He had been reported missing by his friends about an hour earlier.

McCormick’s body was found 1.9 miles across the creek from the residence where he was staying.

Although an initial medical examiner’s report listed the cause of death as accidental drowning, a search warrant executed by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department of the Hooper Estate uncovered damage to Gary Hooper’s 21-foot Boston Whaler.


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