Monday, July 19, 2021, marks three years since A Ride the Ducks boat sank on Table Rock Lake.
The tragedy in 2018 killed 17 people and hurt several more.
Federal criminal charges filed against former Captain Kenneth Scott McKey and two other Ride the Ducks staff members were dismissed.
Last week, 63 new charges, including involuntary manslaughter, were filed by state officials.
“Three years later she is still devastated,” said Tia Coleman’s attorney, Drew Duffy.
He says she is still working to cope.
“The first thing she thinks about when she wakes up in the morning is her wonderful husband and her beautiful children. The last thing she thinks about when she goes to bed at night are Glen and her three children,” he said.
Despite severe weather warnings issued on July 18, 2018, the Ride the Duck Boat operators continued to push on with their tour of Branson.
“There was a clear, indisputable attempt to beat the storm, beating the storm for what, for not refunding about $900,” said Duffy.
His firm has represented families involved in multiple duck boat accidents around the U.S.
“If the federal agencies that were tasked with doing the right thing, back in 1999 and 2002 actually did the right thing, then had another chance to do the right thing in 2010, then Branson never would have happened,” he explained.
It’s why he, says, there’s a push for tougher laws.
He says Coleman will testify before US government officials if called upon.
“Tia cares so much. The pain that she goes through and endures on a daily basis, she loves people and she doesn’t want any other family to ever have that happen to them. That starts with strong duck boat safety legislation,” said Duffy.
Earlier this year Missouri Senators Josh Hawley, and Roy Blunt along with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, re-introduced legislation to improve the safety of duck boats.
Monday Hawley issued this statement:
“Today we remember those who tragically lost their lives three years ago at Table Rock Lake. As we reflect on this entirely preventable accident, we must honor those lost by supporting common-sense legislation to ensure this never happens again. For decades Congress has failed to update safety standards for duck boats and I remain committed to seeing updated standards become law.”
The survivors who were on that duck boat have to live each day with that horror. There is never a good day related to the duck boat tragedy.
Last year the “Duck Boat Safety Enhancement Act” passed the US Senate unanimously but didn’t make it past the house.
The bill is currently in committee.