A 25-year-old Hailey man faces two felony charges in Gooding County in connection with an ATV accident in Hagerman on Sunday that claimed the life of another Blaine County man.
Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough said Tuesday that Shane Jeffrey Hale is charged with felony counts of vehicular manslaughter and joyriding in connection with the death of 27-year-old Blanton Lee McGee, who was killed when an ATV that the sheriff said the men had taken from a party crashed into a ditch.
Gough said an official cause of death has not been reached by the Gooding coroner but said McGee most likely died of drowning. He said Hale was the driver of the ATV and that alcohol was likely a factor in the accident.
The accident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. when the ATV ran into a ditch at the dead end of Orchard Street in Hagerman.
“I’m assuming that they were unfamiliar with the territory, ran into the ditch and hit the bank on the other side,” Gough said.
He estimated the speed of the ATV at the time of the crash at between 35 and 50 miles per hour.
“They were at a function down in Hagerman and they took the ATV joyriding without the owner’s permission,” the sheriff said.
Gough said Hale was arrested after the accident but later posted bond. He made an initial court appearance Monday in Gooding County Magistrate Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6.
Terry Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org