On Thursday, a boat from the popular “Ride The Ducks” attraction in Branson, Missouri, sank during severe weather on Table Rock Lake. Among the 17 people who died in the accident, nine came from the same Indianapolis, Indiana, family. Tragically, the family initially had tickets for a different ride time.
According to a People report, Tia Coleman lost her husband and three children in the horrific event. Of the 11 family members who got on the doomed craft, only Tia and her 13-year-old nephew survived. Family members who perished include Angela Coleman, 45, Arya Coleman, 1, Belinda Coleman, 69, Ervin Coleman, 76, Evan Coleman, 7, Glenn Coleman, 40, Horace Coleman, 70, Maxwell Coleman, 2, and Reece Coleman, 9.
Almost unbearably given the tragic ending, the Coleman family went to the wrong “Ride The Ducks” business and never should’ve been on the doomed 6:30 p.m boat ride. The company allowed the party of 12 to switch tickets and get on the vessel.
Tia Coleman said that she “couldn’t see anybody, I couldn’t hear anything” after the boat began sinking into Table Rock Lake.
“I couldn’t hear screams,” she said. “It felt like I was out there on my own. And I was yelling, screaming and finally, I said, ‘Lord, just let me die, let me die, I can’t keep drowning, I just can’t keep drowning.’ And then I just let go.”
I don’t often tweet GoFundMe pages, but I’m doing this for #TiaColeman —> Duck boat tragedy: Here are the GoFundMe links to donate to survivors like Tia Coleman and their family https://t.co/vw8xgF1hMR via @indystar
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 21, 2018
The company that owns the boats released a statement about the accident.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred at Ride The Ducks Branson. This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking. We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved.”
Earlier, the Inquisitr reported that former National Transportation Safety Board chairman James Hall said that this style of boat was created for armies to storm beaches in the World War II era and that the amphibious crafts are not fit for commercial, recreational use. In fact, Hall thinks they should be banned from operating anywhere because of the design limitations that make them easy to sink and incredibly difficult to escape with the canopies on top of them. He thinks there is no way to make the vehicles safe for use in the manner in which they are used across many cities.
Others who perished in the accident include William Asher, 69, of St. Louis, Missouri; Rosemarie Hamann, 68, of St. Louis Missouri; Janice Bright, 63, of Higginsville, Missouri; William Bright, 65, of Higginsville, Missouri; Leslie Dennison, 65, of Illinois; Bob Williams, 73, of Branson, Missouri; Lance Smith, 15, of Osceola, Arkansas; and Steve Smith, 53, of Osceola, Arkansas.
Family, friends, neighbors, and communities miss every single person who died in this horrific and perhaps preventable accident.