New details about Lake Powell boat crash

Jun 18, 2019, 1:01 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm
Lake Powell passenger...
"That photo doesn't do it justice. That boat was probably double its length out of the shore. It hit hard enough that it did a full 360 spin and slid backward which is when it threw Jayla out." Photo: Chad Bunce

LAKE POWELL, Utah — New details are emerging about the graduation trip to Lake Powell that ended in the death of 18-year-old Jayla Hiatt, of Spanish Fork.

In an affidavit from the Kanab 6th District Court, investigators said Triston Harrison, 21, was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury on Friday.

Three are multiple reports that 8 people were on board and at the time of the crash. Chad Bunce’s daughter was one of those on board. She says that the boat was probably going between 25 to 35 mph when they crashed. She, along with Jayla and another teen, was thrown from the boat.

“These teenagers think they’re invincible and that its never going to happen to them, and you just never know,” Bunce said.

“From what my daughter said, they were headed back to camp to see what the rest of the crew was doing when he started heading to the side, she thought he was just messing around, and she ducked thinking he was going to swerve, and he didn’t.

“That photo doesn’t do it justice. That boat was probably double its length out of the shore. It hit hard enough that it did a full 360 spin and slid backward, which is when it threw Jayla out,” he continued.

Bunce also says that there was definitely alcohol involved on the boat and that there were several passengers on the boat that asked the driver to stop drinking throughout the day.

Ty Hunter, Utah’s State Boating Coordinator, told Dave and Dujanovic that the investigations are still underway and that state and federal park rangers as well as county officers that are continuing to patrol the waterways, looking for people who are endangering others.

Hear the rest of their conversation in the podcast below.





Kane County Attorney’s Office charged Triston Harrison, 21 with  Automobile Homicide, two counts of DUI, Reckless Driving, and Vessel Navigation and Steering Violation on Tuesday.

Harrison is accused of operating “a motor vehicle in a negligent manner,” causing the death of 18-year-old Jayla Hiatt. Hiatt died after she was ejected from a boat Harrison was driving on Friday. Automobile Homicide is a Second Degree Felony in Utah.

The charges stated Harrison failed to “maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing at all times to avoid the risk of collision,” prompting the vessel violation. Harrison’s bail is set at $30,000.


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New details about Lake Powell boat crash