Duck boat staff indicted in reference to deadly sinking in 2018
Three Ride the Ducks Branson employees were charged again – this time in state court – in connection with the tragic amphibious duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake in 2018, killing 17 people, including nine members of an Indiana family.
Duck boat captain Kenneth Scott McKee, operations manager Charles Baltzell and general manager Curtis Lanham were each charged with negligent homicide on 17 counts this week.
Who’s to blame:NTSB blames the duckboat owner, the Coast Guard, in a report on the 2018 tragedy
The trio had been charged with similar crimes in federal court, but those charges were dismissed after a judge ruled that Table Rock Lake was not a navigable waterway under federal jurisdiction.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Stone County Attorney Matt Selby announced Friday that they are now pursuing the cases in a state court.
The allegations are that McKee, Baltzell and Lanham have criminally negligently sent the duck boat onto the water when storms were approaching.
Go to court:The Indianapolis family is filing a $ 100 million lawsuit on behalf of the victims of the duck boat accident
More:Relatives of Indianapolis men killed in the Missouri duckboat tragedy agree with operator
The duck boat took in water and sank in the fast moving storm. On board were 31 people, 17 died.
Among those killed were nine members of the same Indiana family, including Horace “Butch” Coleman, Irving Raymond Coleman, Belinda Coleman, Angela Coleman, Glenn Coleman; Angela’s 2 year old son Maxwell; Glenn’s two sons, Evan and Reece; and his 1 year old daughter Arya.
The family was on a happy family vacation. The deceased family members were among 16 of 29 passengers who died on July 19, 2018. One crew member also died.
Learn more:These are the nine Indianapolis family members who died in the Branson Duck Boat accident
In addition to the manslaughter charge, which may carry a ten-year sentence, McKee is also faced with threats to the child’s welfare that can potentially result in life sentences.
More:Mother, whose family was killed in a duck boat accident, prays for justice after a setback in court