Victim identified, 1 arrested following deadly incident involving jet ski in Franklin County, Ill.

Victim identified following jet ski accident on Lake Benton

BENTON, Ill. (KFVS) - A number of agencies responded to Lake Benton in Franklin County, Illinois on Sunday just after 2 p.m. on September 1.

According to Illinois Department of Natural Resources Police Officer Troy Williams, conservation police are investigating a jet ski accident that left one person dead.

The male driver of the jet ski was arrested and taken to jail in connection to the death.

According to Coroner Marty Leffler, the man whose body was recovered was identified as Gary D. Graham, 73, of Benton, Illinois.

Initial reports from an IDNR investigation show that two men were riding on a borrowed jet ski when the driver made a quick u-turn. Both men were ejected.

The driver stated he swam after the still running jet ski and the passenger tried to swim towards the boat dock but went under and did not resurface.

Neither man was wearing a life vest.

The Benton Fire Department Dive Team, EMA dive team and IDNR officers searched for almost an hour before the man's body was found.

An autopsy is scheduled.

Graham was a retired school teacher from Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

IDNR and the coroner’s office are investigating.

According to EMA Director Ryan Buckingham with the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency, personnel from the office of the Bureau of Operations, the Special Operation Dive Team the Department of Natural Resources Police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Benton Fire Department all responded.

The coroner asks for prayers for the Graham family during this time.

Stay with Heartland News for updates to this developing story.

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