Custom Search 1

Captain charged with negligence after duck boat deaths

PICTURED: Nine members of the Coleman family, pictured, died in the accident (Image: family handout via WRTV)

THE CAPTAIN of a duck boat that sank resulting in the deaths of 17 of the vessels passengers has been charged with neglect.

Kenneth Scott McKee, who piloted the vessel during a thunderstorm in July, was charged with misconduct and negligence on Thursday.

A total of 17 people aged between 1 and 76 years old perished when the boat sank in southwest Missouri on July 19.

The boat, which can travel on land and water, was carrying 31 passengers when the incident took place.

McKee survived but the boat’s driver did not. He faces up to 10 years in jail for each charge.

Nine members of one family from Indiana died when the boat capsized during the storm.

A surviving member of the Coleman family who was on board the vessel at the time, Tia Coleman, said the passengers were told: “Don’t worry about grabbing life jackets – you won’t need them.”

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Coleman spoke to local TV broadcasters from her hospital bed.

She said: “And I was yelling, screaming and finally I said, ‘Lord just let me die, I can’t keep drowning,’ that’s what I felt.”

Of the 11 family members on board, Coleman and her nephew were the only two survivors.

“I lost all of my children.

“I lost my husband. I lost my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. I lost my uncle. I lost my sister-in-law… she was my sister. And I lost my nephew,” Coleman said.

Coleman, whose husband Glenn, and children Reece, 9, Evan, 7, and Arya, one, all died when the vessel capsized, responded to the news that McKee had been indicted.

She said: “While nothing can ever ease the grief in my heart, I am grateful that the US Attorney’s Office is fighting for justice for my family and the other victims, and is committed to holding fully accountable all those responsible for this tragedy.”

McKee’s lawyer has said that his client will not enter a guilty plea.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments