What should have been an enjoyable day on the lake with family turned into an absolute nightmare.
Seven-year-old Bentley Mehringer of Duncan, Oklahoma, was on one of two boats in Kingsland, Texas with his family when one of the boats suddenly exploded.
No one knew what happened so it was immediate panic and screaming in all directions around us,” Breanna Sullivan, Bentley’s mother told The Duncan Banner. “Bentley and … two other younger girls were down in the bottom of the boat where the bunks are.”
The explosion tossed two family members and a dog in the air before they splashed into the water.
Sullivan panicked when she didn’t immediately see Bentley, but she later learned he was helping his two younger cousins escape.
“He thought he was on fire and could hear his uncle yelling from the top of the boat for them to get out,” she said. “He said he sent the other two girls up before him because he didn’t want anyone else hurt. His uncle threw the girls out of the boat into the water before getting himself out.”
“Bentley asked me a question when he was laying there. He looked at me and said mommy am I going to die and that probably where I lost it the most I don’t even think he was crying but I was bawling,” Sullivan told KSWO.
Bentley was flown to a hospital in Austin where he was treated for second-degree and possible third-degree burns.
Although he faced some battles, after one week, Bentley’s condition improved enough that he was allowed to return home to continue his recovery.
A fundraiser has been set up to help the family pay for expenses they incurred while Bentley was in the hospital.
“It’s a very (great) overwhelming feeling knowing that there are literally hundreds of people that would drop what they’re doing to be there when you’re in need,” Sullivan wrote on Facebook. “Healing will happen and finances will be figured out after some time, right now we are just thankful for our lives and the wonderful people in them.”