COMMUNITY REMEMBERING VICTIMS OF HOLIDAY BOAT CRASH
Some Fourth of July fun turned fatal in Hale County Wednesday.
Ricky Glover, 47, and Destiny Graben, 23, were killed and two more were severely injured in a boat wreck on the Black Warrior River during the holiday. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency told WVUA 23 the two moving boats collided Wednesday evening about 6:00, around 5 miles south of the Moundville boat landing.
Between the two boats, there were 8 passengers and not one of them was wearing a life jacket. Seven of them were ejected from the boats upon impact. Glover and Graben were passengers of opposite boats.
ALEA troopers don’t know what caused the wreck, but are begging boaters to please take all safety precautions.
“To come across something like that, it just kinda takes the winds out of your sails,” state trooper Freddie Ingram said during a news conference Thursday. “You work so hard all summer and you work so hard in the spring educating people, when something like this happens, it makes you feel terrible. Police officers have compassion too,” he said.
Lori Wyatt, a long-time friend of Glover, called him “Somebody who didn’t mind telling you what he thought, but would help you in a heartbeat if you gave him a call.” Glover was a beloved community member and proud father. His daughter Dakota plays softball for Auburn University. “He could not have been prouder of her. He bragged on her all the time.,” Wyatt exclaimed.
Destiny Graben’s best friend Lauren Elliott described Destiny as “That person you just want to be around all the time,” an animal lover and the life of the party. “She just brought joy to everyone she was around,” Elliott said. “She lit up a room when she would walk in.”
This heartbroken community is leaning on each other like they always do during times of tragedy. They’re hoping everyone can learn this lesson from their loss.
“You just can’t take people for granted… or life for granted,” Wyatt said tearfully. “You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see someone and speak to them and tell them how you feel about them. This really does put all of that into perspective.”
State troopers said both drivers of the boats were given sobriety tests, but no criminal charges have been filed at this time.