Hooper charged with failing to report a boating accident; fatality involved according to Lancaster sheriff’s office

John Randolph Hooper, 31, of Richmond has been charged with failing to promptly report an August boating accident that resulted in the death of Graham McCormick of Atlanta, according to Lancaster County Sheriff Patrick McCranie.

McCormick, 31, formerly of Richmond, was found August 11 floating in Carter Creek near the end of Weems Road. According to the sheriff’s department, he had been visiting Hooper and other friends in Irvington and was reported missing that morning.

Although the state medical examiner initially ruled McCormick’s death an accidental drowning, the sheriff’s department investigation uncovered that it was the result of a boating accident. McCormick had cuts on his head when he was pulled from the water and Maj. William Webb reported several weeks ago that a Boston Whaler owned by Randolph’s father, Gary Hooper, showed signs of a boating accident.

McCormick’s body was found floating two miles from where he was reported missing in Irvington. The sheriff’s department concluded the boat had struck a bulkhead and McCormick died as a result of the accident.

The investigation has not yet revealed who was driving the boat. However, J. Hooper was charged with a misdemeanor October 5 for failing to report the accident. The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s department is still waiting on an official report from the state’s medical examiner.

McCormick’s death was the result of a boating accident, according to investigation

(Sep 13, 2017)
by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

WEEMS—Graham McCormick, 31, of Georgia died as a result of a boating accident, according to Major William Webb, chief deputy with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department.

McCormick’s body was discovered by a passing boater on Carter Creek, near the end of Weems Road, August 11. He was in Lancaster County visiting friends, said Webb.

Although the sheriff’s department has not received an official cause of death from the state medical examiner, Webb said there was trauma to the body and investigators have determined McCormick was involved in a boating accident.

Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant on August 24 of a Boston Whaler owned by Gary Hooper of Irvington.

The death remains under investigation, according to Webb.