Memphis man arrested after Pickwick Lake crash that killed father, daughter

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A 33-year-old Memphis man has been indicted and is now under arrest for charges including vehicular homicide by intoxication after a personal watercraft accident on Pickwick Lake that killed a man and his 6-year-old daughter.

A Hardin County grand jury handed down criminal indictments for Matthew Swearengen on Monday.

The crash on August 15, 2020, killed David Carter, 40, and his 6-year-old daughter Olivia, both of Oakland, Tennessee. Carter was pronounced dead on the scene and his daughter was air lifted to Le Bonheur in Memphis, where she did not survive her injuries.

Swearengen was unharmed in the collision. He was arrested by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and is being held in Hardin County jail on $100,000 bond. The initial court date is set for July 26.

The indictments came as a result of an investigation in Hardin County. The investigation is still ongoing.

He faces several charges:

  • 2 Counts of Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication – TCA 39-13-213 (a) (2)
  • 2 Counts of Vehicular Homicide -TCA 39-13-213 (a) (1)
  • 2 Counts of Aggravated Assault – TCA 39-13-102 (a) (1)
  • 1 Count of Boating Under the Influence – TCA 69-9-217 (a)
  • 1 Count of Failure to Render Aid – TCA 69-9-210 (a) (2)

A $10 million civil suit against Swearengen and another man who owned the watercraft was filed this May. According to the lawsuit, Swearengen’s Jet Ski collided with Carter’s at Dry Creek Cove.

Attorney Randy Fishman represents David’s surviving wife, Nicole, in a wrongful death lawsuit.

“She’s incredibly nice and sweet and seems to be just struggling through given the situation,” Fishman said.

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