Victim identified in deadly jet ski accident - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Victim identified in deadly jet ski accident

Posted: Updated:

Updated 3:00 p.m. September 3, 2019

FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSIL) -- Franklin County Sheriff David Bartoni confirms to News 3 the operator of the jet ski in Sunday's deadly jet ski accident is 45-year-old Robert Hanselman, of Centralia.

Updated 8:46 p.m. September 1, 2019 

FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSIL) -- Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler has identified the victim in Sunday's deadly jet ski accident as 73 year-old Gary Graham of Benton. 

Initial reports from IDNR Officers state the two men were riding together on a borrowed jet ski when the operator made a quick u-turn causing both men to be ejected into the water. 

According to the release, the driver of the jet ski began swimming towards the still-running water craft. Graham began swimming towards the boat dock but went underwater and never surfaced. 

Leffler says Graham lived at Lake Benton and was a retired school teacher from Mt. Vernon. 

An autopsy is scheduled. 

Updated 7:35 p.m. September 1, 2019 

FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSIL) -- Officer Troy Williams tells News Three there were two male passenger's on the watercraft, neither were wearing life jackets. 

Williams says both men ended up in the water. The operator of the jet ski was arrested and taken to the Franklin County Jail. He's being charged with Operating Under the Influence of alcohol. 

Dive teams recovered the passengers body from the water. 

Names have not been released at this time. 


FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSIL) -- Dive teams have recovered a body from Lake Benton after a deadly jet ski accident. 

IDNR Conservation Police Officer Troy Williams says the accident happened around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Franklin County Coroner is on scene. 

Stay with News Three for updates. 

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