CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A boat crash at the Lake of the Ozarks just after midnight Saturday killed a Jefferson County mother and wife and left her husband and only daughter seriously injured.
Police say a boat being piloted by John Bennett, 52, of New Haven, Mo. hit the portside of another boat that was occupied by three people from High Ridge, one from O’Fallon, Mo. and one from Eureka.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 42-year-old Dawn Steinkuehler, who was on the second boat, died. Another person onboard was ejected, but was recovered from the water and taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
Dawn's daughter Hayden and husband Brad both suffered serious injuries. Hayden has lacerations on her face, staples in her head, severe bruising and the 13-year-old is relying on ventilators. Family members say Brad has multiple facial and spinal fractures, and underwent surgery for internal bleeding.
"You're mad, absolutely, it didn't have to happen and that's why we're going to the state, to Jeff City, and hopefully get that speed limit dropped to 10 MPH down there at the Lake," said Al McCulloch, a friend of the Steinkuehler family. "We love the Lake, there's great people down there. It is a selfish act, but like I said, our main focus is with the family right now and making sure they get through this."
McCulloch said the Steinkuehlers have become like his second family throughout the years.
"We worked so closely together we would have breakfast and lunch and basically do everything together for 25 weekends out of the year," McCulloch said.
Hayden is set to be a freshman at Rockwood Summit next month. McCulloch said a family friend on the boat kept her alive.
"He performed CPR on Hayden for 20 minutes so he can really be responsible for her being alive, thank God," McCulloch said.
As this family prays for their survival and healing, their tight-knit bond is now more important than ever. McCulloch says the worst pain for Brad and Hayden has yet to come.
"The sad fact about it is that they don't know right now, that's going to be another tragedy to tell their daughter that her mom is gone, and said his wife is gone," McCulloch said. "First it's shock, no, this is not real."
Bennett is charged with boating while intoxicated with physical injury, boating while intoxicated with death to another, boating while intoxicated with physical injury, and careless and imprudent operation of a vessel.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the Steinkuehler family.