youtube.com/ABC 17 News
youtube.com/ABC 17 News

6 People, Including 2 Children, Suffered Burns in Missouri Lake Boat Explosion

Laura Beatham
Jun 17, 2021
02:50 P.M.

Multiple people were injured during a boating explosion in Missouri this month. Among the injured were two teenagers and a toddler.


A Nebraska family's summer plans were put on hold following a boat explosion on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Six people were injured as a result of the explosion.

The driver, James Hohenstein, 47, passengers Kari Hohenstein, 46, and Brad Van Winkle, 39, and two teenagers, aged 12 and 16, were all seriously injured. They were all transported to hospitals.

A close up of police tape. | Photo: Shutterstock

A close up of police tape. | Photo: Shutterstock

Fortunately, the two-year-old sustained minor injuries and was transported by family to the Lake Regional Hospital. The other family members were transported by either an ambulance or an air ambulance.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the boat developed a mechanical problem that led to a fire and an explosion. However, they did not specify what exactly the problem was, as the investigation is still ongoing.


Kristin John, Brad's sister-in-law, told KETV 7 the three adults and the toddler were treated and released from the hospital. However, the two teenagers are still in the hospital.

He shared that 21 people were on the 41-foot Wellcraft when two explosions went off.

She explained that her nephew, 12-year-old Jackson Van Winkle, has severe burns. Jackson's mother had been on a work call on the shore when she noticed that the three adults were trying to get the children off the boat.

A small boat on the Lake of the Ozark. | Photo: YouTube/ABC 7 News

A small boat on the Lake of the Ozark. | Photo: YouTube/ABC 7 News

She quickly ran out to the lake and helped the children to get to shore. Unfortunately, the three boys were injured. A GoFundMe was set up to help Jackson's family cover his medical expenses.

The whole group was from Nebraska. Van Winkle and the two other children are from Gretna, and the Hohensteins and the 16-year-old are from Elkhorn. Other family members on the trip were fortunately not injured.


A similar boating accident happened last year in October on the New Lake in Fort Lauderdale. 13 people were injured during the explosion, and one man sustained burns to 40% of his body.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan discussed the details during a press conference at the time. He shared that 21 people were on the 41-foot Wellcraft when two explosions went off and sent people into the water.

People reported that the 21 people were on the boat filming a low-budget music video. A passenger, Abraham Alejandro, said the explosion came a few minutes after the boat was filled with gas.

The seriousness of the burns ranged from first to third-degree burns. Seven people were transported by emergency services to Broward Health while others were treated on scene.

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