Refiled lawsuit in deadly Beaufort Co. boat crash names former 14th circuit solicitor

19-year-old Mallory Beach
19-year-old Mallory Beach
Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 4:05 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A woman who lost her 19-year-old daughter in a boating accident in Beaufort County has refiled a wrongful death lawsuit against a former 14th circuit solicitor and members of his family

Mallory Beach was found in early March by a boater near the Broad River Boat landing following a search for her that spanned several days. Authorities said six people were on a boat in the early morning hours of Feb. 24 when it crashed into a bridge that links Parris Island to the mainland.

Beach’s family had previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit last month in Beaufort County, but that suit was dismissed.

The new suit filed by Beach’s mother in Hampton County names Randolph Murdaugh III, the former 14th circuit solicitor, as well as his son Randolph Alexander Murdaugh and Richard Alexander Murdaugh Jr., Murdaugh’s grandson as defendants.

Beach’s lawyers claim that Mallory Beach was with other underage minors who were intoxicated, and they were able to drink alcohol after Murdaugh Jr. allowed his younger brother to use his driver’s license to purchase the beverages.

The suit claims the minors drank alcohol on property called “The Island” which Randolph Murdaugh III is a trustee.

“...this defendant knew or should have known that The Island was being used by minor as a place to illegally consume alcohol,” the suit stated.

The suit states the minors also went to another home for a party where the minors were also served alcohol.

According to the lawsuit, the minors then went to a business called Luther’s where employees sold alcohol to the minors.

The suit states after the minors left Luther’s, at least one of the minors was operating the boat when the boat collided with a bridge, ejecting Mallory Beach from the boat and causing “catastrophic injuries.”

According to the solicitor’s office, Murgaugh III served as solicitor from 1986 to 2006. The 14th circuit includes Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

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