9 members of Indiana family among 17 who died in Missouri duck boat accident
Nine members of one family were among the 17 men, women and children who died Thursday night in the tragic Duck Tour boat capsizing in Branson, Mo., according to various news organizations.
The office of Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons confirmed to FOX59 that 11 members of the family were on the boat and nine of them perished, the station reported.
Investigators haven’t released an official list as yet, but a photo of the family has been circulating on social media and Tia Coleman, a relative who survived the disaster, told Fox 59 she lost all of her children.
“My heart is very heavy,” said Coleman, whose nephew also survived the accident. “Out of 11 of us, only two of us surviving – that’s me and my nephew.”
She added, “I lost all my children, my brother-in-law.”
Coleman recounted the events of that harrowing night for the station. She said she believes lives could have been saved if events had unfolded differently.
The captain of the boat told everyone “don’t worry about grabbing life jackets – you won’t need them,” and everyone followed the instructions, Coleman said.
“However, in doing that, when it was time to grab them, it was too late and I believe a lot of people could have been spared,” she said. “The only thing that I would like to be done but can’t is to bring my family back.”
Of the family members who died, relative Ingrid Coleman Douglas told the Indianapolis Star, “They were very loved.”
The victims included two of her uncles, aunts, cousins and their children, she said.
“It’s a huge family on all sides,” she told the Star. “It’s unimaginable. I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people in this way.”
The Ride the Ducks tourist boat capsized as a thunderstorm ravaged the area of Missouri’s Table Rock Lake, and the victims ranged in age from 1 to 76 years old, according to multiple reports. Thirty-one people were on board at the time. As of late Friday morning, the 17 bodies were recovered.
Now, a GoFundMe campaign has been established to help Tia Coleman. The campaign has already raised over $700,000 of the $1 million goal.
Watch video from CNN of the last moments before duck boat sinks in Missouri