Teen Receives Five Years’ Probation for Boating Related Homicide

A teenager who was responsible for the death of another teen in a boating crash last year has received a sentence of five years’ probation.

WESH.com reports that the incident occurred on November 1, 2020, when Gavin Johnston of Pinellas County was speeding in his parent’s boat on the intercoastal waterway. Six people were traveling with Johnson at the time and during the voyage Johnson crashed the boat, ejecting 16-year old Rachel Herring from the vessel.

Herring died from her injuries.

Johnson was also 16 years old at the time of the crash. Johnson, now 17 years old and facing charges relating to Rachel’s death, expressed remorse, saying “Losing Rachel has been the most tragic experience that I have ever had. “At times, I feel paralyzed by fear of the unknown, while also being frustrated by my inability to communicate my feelings to Rachel’s family,” Johnson added.

Johnson received a sentence of five years probation, including a prohibition against alcohol use before his 21st birthday. Investigators did not conclude that drugs or alcohol had been a factor in the crash.

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