Man Charged with Death of Two in Fatal Boat Wreck

Rachel Swetnam and William Varner

A Tulsa man is facing two first degree manslaughter charges this week for a boating accident that killed two people back in May.

State prosecutors filed the charges against John DeSelms Monday morning in Delaware County. He was reportedly the driver of the boat that crashed and killed Rachel Nicole Swetnam and William Lewis Varner III on Grand Lake.

According to court documents, an arrest warrant was issued for DeSelms and bond was set at $50,000. Officials with the Delaware County Jail told KTUL he was released this morning on a $25,000 after the judge reduced the amount.

Back in May, KTUL reported that DeSelms told investigators he had 10 beers, a tequila shot and an antidepressant before the deadly collision, according to a preliminary crash report. He was cited for operation of a vessel under the influence after the May 14 crash.

Read the Report

Swetnam and Varner were passengers of the boat DeSelms was driving which collided with another docked boat, identified as a Cobalt Bowrider. Grand River Dam Authorities stated that Swetnam was from Grove, Oklahoma while Varner lived in Texarkana, Arkansas.

Brian Edwards with the GRDA Police told KTUL the collision between the Bowrider and the houseboat as a "substantial violent impact."