Driver in fatal boat crash charged
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. --The driver in a boat crash on Devils Lake that killed a Minnesota woman earlier this month is in custody. Thomas J. Burns, 54, Grand Forks, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center after being...
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -The driver in a boat crash on Devils Lake that killed a Minnesota woman earlier this month is in custody.
Thomas J. Burns, 54, Grand Forks, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center after being interviewed by investigators, according to a report from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.
Burns allegedly had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit when the boat he was driving struck a tree sticking out of the lake on Aug. 9, according to an arrest warrant issued Tuesday.
Burns is charged with: manslaughter, a Class B felony; three counts of reckless endangerment, all Class C felonies, and boating under the influence, a class B misdemeanor.
April Stenger, 26, of Detroit Lakes, Minn., died at the scene of the accident. Two others were critically injured.
According to the complaint, Burns was operating the boat at a high rate of speed, estimated up to 38 mph, just 20 feet from shore, when the crash occurred.
Burns had a blood alcohol content of 0.178 approximately three hours after the crash, according to a blood test taken at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, the complaint said.
After the collision, Kyle Everson, 26, and Joel Kurtz Jr., 26, both of Devils Lake, and Danielle Brommenschenkel, 40, of Halstad, Minn., were airlifted to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
An Altru spokeswoman said Wednesday that Everson and Kurtz remained in critical condition, while Brommenschenkel had been released from the hospital.
Burns was driven to the hospital with injuries.
If convicted on all counts, Burns could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.