Questions Remain Unanswered Following Mallory Beach Autopsy Results
On February 26th, 2019, a deadly boat accident occurred near Parris Island, South Carolina. Six teens, all under the age of 20, were on board a 17-foot powerboat that crashed into a bridge pylon in Archer Creek after a night of partying. The victims’ families have been waiting for nearly two years to receive answers and closure, and the recent release of Mallory Beach’s autopsy results has brought the tragic event back into the spotlight.
Mallory Beach was a 19-year-old college student from Hampton County, South Carolina. She was one of six passengers on board the boat when it crashed into the bridge. Mallory was ejected from the boat and her body was found a week later in a marshy area. Her father, Paul Beach, has been relentlessly fighting for justice for his daughter ever since.
The autopsy report, released on January 12th, 2021, revealed that Mallory’s cause of death was drowning. The report also stated that alcohol was present in her system, and that she sustained blunt force injuries to her head and extremities. The toxicology report showed that her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit for operating a boat in South Carolina.
While the autopsy results provide some answers, many questions remain unanswered. Here are some of the lingering questions:
1. Who was driving the boat, and why did they crash?
The driver of the boat has not been publicly identified, as the investigation is still ongoing. However, witness statements and the initial incident report suggest that the driver was Paul Murdaugh, another teenager who was on board the boat. Murdaugh’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were prominent attorneys in the area, leading to accusations of a cover-up.
Murdaugh sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to a hospital, but he left before authorities arrived. His family has denied any wrongdoing and he has not been charged with any crime related to the accident. The investigation is being led by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
2. Why did it take so long to find Mallory’s body?
Mallory’s body was found a week after the crash, and the search involved multiple agencies and volunteers scouring the waterways and marshes near the crash site. The area is known for its difficult terrain and tides, which can make searches challenging. Mallory’s family has expressed frustration and disbelief that it took so long to find their daughter’s body.
3. What role did underage drinking play in the accident?
All of the teens on board the boat were underage and had been drinking alcohol that night. The autopsy report confirmed that Mallory had alcohol in her system at the time of her death. South Carolina law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from consuming or possessing alcohol, and operating a boat under the influence is also illegal.
The accident has led to calls for stricter enforcement of underage drinking laws, as well as increased education and awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence.
4. What changes are being made to prevent future accidents?
The accident has prompted officials to examine boating safety regulations and enforcement, particularly in the areas of underage drinking and boating under the influence. The state legislature passed a bill in 2019 requiring boaters to complete a boating safety course before operating a boat, but some have called for additional measures such as mandatory alcohol testing for boat operators.
The tragedy has also sparked discussion about the importance of wearing life jackets while boating, as none of the teens on the boat were wearing them at the time of the crash.
In conclusion, the release of Mallory Beach’s autopsy results has brought some closure to her family and shed light on the tragic circumstances of her death. However, many questions remain unanswered, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Hopefully, the tragedy will lead to increased awareness and enforcement of boating safety regulations, and ultimately prevent future accidents and deaths.