Investigation completed in boat accident

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
Thomas J. Burns

The investigation is complete.

Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson said that Thomas J. Burns, 54, from Grand Forks was charged late in the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 26.

The charges Burns faces include one count of Manslaughter, a Class B felony, three counts of Reckless Endangerment, Class C felonies and one count Operating a boat while under the influence, a Class B Misdemeanor.

The incident happened around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 9 approximately 200 yards southwest of Haybale Heights Campground on Devils Lake.

The investigation determined that the boat, carrying five individuals struck a tree causing several of the occupants to be thrown from the boat. It was estimated that the boat was traveling up to 38 mph.

April Stenger, 26, Detroit Lakes, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene after the single-craft accident.

Kyle Everson, 26, Devils Lake, was life-flighted to Grand Forks Altru from the scene.

Joel Kurtz Jr., 26, Devils Lake, Daniel Brommenschenkel, 40, Halstad, Minn., and Tom Burns, Grand Forks, 54, were transported to Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake and later transferred to Grand Forks Altru.

Everson, Kurtz and Brommenschenkel were listed in critical condition at the time of transfer.

A bond hearing for Burns is set for 10 a.m. today in Northeast District Court.