The Latest: Indiana family in duck boat tragedy seeks ban
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the sinking of tourist boat in Branson(all times local):
Dozens of members of an Indiana family who lost nine relatives when a duck bank sank this month in Missouri are calling for a ban on the tourist boats.
Fifty-three members of the extended Coleman family attended a tear-filled news conference Tuesday in Indianapolis, hours after their attorneys filed a second lawsuit seeking damages from the owners and operators of the boat that sank July 19 near Branson, Missouri, killing 17 people.
Lisa D. Berry is the sister of 69-year-old Belinda Coleman, who was one of nine relatives who died in the sinking.
She says an entire branch of her family tree is now gone.
Berry says the boats should be banned. She says that if someone had stood up to the duck boat industry years ago her family would still be whole.
A second lawsuit has been filed by members of an Indiana family who lost nine relatives when a tourist boat sank this month in Missouri.
The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Missouri on behalf of the estates of 45-year-old Angela Coleman and 68-year-old Belinda Coleman.
The women and seven relatives died in the July 19 sinking at Table Rock Lake near Branson that killed 17 people. The suit seeking unspecified damages comes after a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages was filed Sunday on behalf of the estates of 76-year-old Ervin Coleman and 2-year-old Maxwell Ly.
Both suits allege that the owners and operators of the tourist boat put profits over people’s safety when they decided to put the Ride the Ducks boat on a lake despite design problems and severe weather warnings.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill wants new restrictions on duck boats like the one that sunk in Missouri this month, killing 17 people.
McCaskill plans to introduce legislation Tuesday that would give the U.S. Coast Guard 180 days to enact new regulations aimed at ensuring the amphibious vehicles stay afloat during flooding. Duck boats then would have two years to comply.
And in the meantime, they would be required to either remove canopies or install ones that allow passengers to escape in case of flooding.
McCaskill is working off of National Transportation Safety Board recommendations spurred by another deadly duck boat accident in Arkansas in 1999. Federal regulators then noted the amphibious vehicles have trouble staying afloat during flooding and overhead canopies can trap passengers if the vehicles sink.
Members of an Indiana family who lost nine loved ones when a tourist boat sank in Missouri plan to speak at a news conference about their lives after “our family tree has been broken.”
The Coleman family’s attorneys say Tuesday’s news conference in Indianapolis would also detail additional legal filings after a federal lawsuit was filed in Kansas City seeking $100 million in damages on behalf of two of the nine Coleman family members killed in the sinking.
That lawsuit alleges the duck boat’s owners and operators put profits over people’s safety when they decided to put it on a lake near Branson July 19, despite design problems and severe weather warnings.
Seventeen of the 31 people aboard were killed in the sinking. Others killed were from Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri.