An Overland Park man has been arrested after a deadly boat crash early Saturday morning at Lake of the Ozarks killed three of his friends and injured one other.
All five adults are from Johnson County.
Hayden Frazier, 22, of Overland Park, was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated related to the death of another person and serious physical injury, as well as negligent operation of a vessel.
Frazier, who was driving the boat, was held at the Camden County jail Saturday. On Sunday, jail officials said he had been released. Prosecutors in Camden County, which encompasses part of the lake area, have not said if charges will be filed.
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An earlier version of this story said Frazier had been charged. He was arrested on the above charges.
The Missouri Highway patrol identified all five occupants in an incident report released Saturday evening. The three deceased are: Joseph LeMark, 23, and Daniel Lewis, 24, both of Overland Park, and Hailey Hochanadel, 21, of Olathe.
Frazier and Ashley Lamb, 21, of Olathe, were injured.
The five were in a 1991 Regal Runabout boat when it struck a rock bluff in the main channel at mile marker 47.5 in Camden County, according to the patrol’s boating incident report. At the point of collision, which was across from Simmons Point, Frazier, LeMark and Hochanadel were ejected.
“The driver (Frazier) re-entered the vessel and paddled to a dock across the channel,” the report stated. He paddled a half mile, according to Sgt. Scott White, spokesman for the patrol’s Troop F, which covers the lake.
Lewis was found inside the boat and pronounced dead at the scene. LeMark was located just after 8:30 a.m. and divers found Hochanadel at 11:15 a.m.
Lamb was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. The patrol report described her injuries as serious. Frazier was taken to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach with moderate injuries.
A neighbor near the crash site called the patrol around 1:45 a.m., White said.
“As to the circumstances leading up to (the crash), we just don’t know yet,” White said.
The preliminary investigation indicated that none of the people on the boat was wearing a life vest. Missouri law doesn’t require occupants to do so, only to have one readily accessible for each person on the boat.
The peak boating season at the lake begins Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day. Saturday is the first day of a week set aside to promote safe boating.
“Without a doubt this is a tragic start to National Safe Boating Week and the summer,” White said.
A search in The Star’s archives shows this may be one of the deadliest boating accidents in recent history at Lake of the Ozarks. A Lee’s Summit police officer and two Kansas City firefighters, who were later found to be legally drunk, died in a boating accident there in April 1997.
Between 2011-16, an average of 16 people died annually from boating accidents in Missouri, according to the 2017 Missouri Boating Statistics & Drownings report. In 2016, the latest numbers available, there were four fatalities at Lake of the Ozarks.