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Body recovered from Lake Benton identified

Posted on 9/1/2019, 10:59 PM

BENTON -- A body recovered from Lake Benton Sunday afternoon has been identified by Franklin County Coroner Marty P. Leffler as 73-year-old Gary D. Graham of Benton.

According to a media release from Leffler, initial reports from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer investigating the accident indicate two men were riding together on a borrowed Jet Ski at Lake Benton, when the driver made a quick U-turn causing both men to be ejected into the water.

The driver said he swam after the still running Jet Ski and his passenger tried to swim toward the boat dock but went under and never surfaced.

Neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a life vest.

The Benton Fire Department Dive Team, with assistance from the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Special Operation Dive Team, along with the IDNR Conservation Officers, searched for almost an hour before locating Graham's body.

Leffler said an autopsy would be scheduled.

According to Leffler, Graham was a retired schoolteacher from Mt. Vernon and lived at Lake Benton.

The driver has not been officially identified.