Deadly boat crash suspect claims he tried to save boys

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HALL COUNTY, Ga. - In court Tuesday, prosecutors played a police tape recorded after they say a Forsyth County man hit and killed two children while boating drunk on Lake Lanier.

Channel 2's Rachel Stockman attended the hearing in Hall County for Paul Bennett, where she heard emotional words from the suspect.

She saw the video recorded from a camera attached to the uniform of a Department of Natural Resources ranger conducting a field sobriety test. The ranger found Bennett at his boat house after the crash.

Bennett is accused of driving his boat drunk on Lake Lanier and hitting the Prince family's pontoon boat last June. Jake Prince, 9, and his brother Griffin Prince, 13, were killed.

During the tape, Bennett says he tried rescuing the boys, but left the scene before rangers showed up because the woman he was with was diabetic and needed sugar.
The video showed Bennett crying hysterically the night of his arrest.

“How am I supposed to be OK? How can you be OK? God!” he cried.

The crash killed Jake instantly, and his brother’s body was found several days later.

In the video, Bennett told the ranger he had one drink before the crash.

“I had one drink. I have the receipt in my pocket. I swear to God, I will present it to you guys. I had one drink at that restaurant, one,” he said.
On Tuesday, his lawyer said the consequences of the incident have been considerable.

“It’s taken a tremendous toll. It’s affected him, his family, his business, everything,” attorney Barry Zimmerman said.