Boat crash on Devils Lake kills 1 person, injures 4 others

The Associated Press

A weekend boat crash on Devils Lake in northeastern North Dakota killed a Minnesota woman and injured four other people, some of them critically.

The crash happened about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, when a boat struck a tree about 30 yards from shore while traveling about 30 mph in the area of Haybale Heights Campground, Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson said.

"It was not a submerged tree. This one was out of the water quite a ways," he said.

April Stenger, 26, of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, died at the scene, Nelson said.

Three other passengers in the boat were flown to a Grand Forks hospital, all with what Nelson described as critical injuries —Kyle Everson, 26, and Joel Kurtz Jr. 26, both of Devils Lake, and Danielle Brommenschenkel, 40, of Halstad, Minnesota. Brommenschenkel was upgraded to satisfactory condition Monday, while the two men remained critical, an Altru spokeswoman told KZZY radio.

Tom Burns, 54, the Grand Forks man driving the boat, suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

A person in the campground who heard the crash called 911, Nelson told KZZY. Emergency crews who responded found all of the boat's occupants on shore.

Authorities were still investigating why the group was on the lake at that time of morning and whether any of the boat's occupants had been drinking alcohol, Nelson told The Associated Press.

"Where they were coming from, where they were going to, we're still looking at that," he said. "We're still trying to put together all the pieces."

The boat was destroyed.

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