Grove Woman Recovering After 4th Of July Boat Explosion

Monday, July 13th 2015, 6:42 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Grove woman was in the direct path of an explosion that hurt nine boaters on the 4th of July. Rosalynn Yates was burned badly on her legs and feet, and she's still in the hospital.

A family friend tells said that Rosalynn is walking but has a long way to go before she can go home.

There is video of the moments just after a boat burst into flames on Grand Lake a week ago.

"I watched it for a couple seconds; I don't want to hear it or see it," said Sharina Little, a friend of Rosalynn Yates.
"She's like one of my own kids."

Little knows her best friend's daughter  narrowly survived the blast.

"It was bad. It's not something a mom wants to see with her kid," she said.

Rosalynn was with her boyfriend's family celebrating July 4 when the boat they were in exploded, just after fueling up.
Nine people were on board.

Rosalynn, 20, was sitting in the back of the boat in the direct line of fire. She told her mom she heard a boom, saw flames, then jumped. Her boyfriend, not as badly injured, was able to grab Rosalynn and swim her to safety.

Six victims were driven to a Grove hospital, but Rosalynn and two others were flown to the burn unit at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa.    
The others were released the same day, but nine days later, Rosalynn is still there being treated for third-degree burns on the lower half of her body. 

She's had one surgery, with a second scheduled for Tuesday.

7/8/2015 Related Story: Grove Woman Recovering After Grand Lake Boat Explosion

"She's always been little Miss Independent, doing things on her own, and seeing her have to rely on everyone else has just been, it's been hard," said Sharina Little, a family friend of the victim.

The former competitive cheerleader planned to go back to college in August to study physical therapy. Instead, she'll likely still be in the hospital then learning how the job works - as a patient.

"We're all very lucky, I mean it could have been much, much worse. We could be going to funerals, but everybody's alive, so that's the good part," Little said.

There's no exact time frame on how long Rosalynn will be here at Hillcrest, but it'll likely be for at least another month. Rosalynn's mom says the other victims are recovering from their burns as well. They're just able to do it from home.

GRDA says it still doesn't know what caused the boat to explode and may never have an answer because the boat was so badly burned.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Rosalynn's medical expenses. An account for donations has also been set up at Oklahoma State Bank under Rosalynn’s name.

Other fundraising events:
Rummage Sale Saturday, July 25, from 7:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hickory Grove Fire Department
BBQ Dinner Saturday, August 1, at 5:00 p.m. at the Hickory Grove Fire Department