If you have been following up with the news lately, you likely heard about the tragic duck boat accident that occurred in Missouri that was carrying a family from Indiana among a few others. On July 19th, the Coleman family, a couple from Missouri, and a few other individuals hopped aboard the amphibious duck boat vehicle/vessel hoping to receive a tour that would leave them with everlasting memories. Instead, the families on board were given a ride that would be responsible for taking their lives.

CNN reported that the duck boat, which usually conducts its first part of the tour on land, decided to take the tour directly into the water after severe thunderstorm warnings had been issued. The National Weather Service had even issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area and said that “conditions were ripe for winds of 70 mph,” according to CBS News. Still, the duck boat went out into the water for the tour only to sink moments later. There had been 31 individuals on board that boat of which only 14 survived, some with injuries. While life jackets were made available to the passengers on board, none had been wearing one. And instead, many believe “the canopy entrapped the passengers and dragged them to the bottom of the lake.”

The Indiana family members who did not survive were identified as 45-year-old Angela Coleman, 1-year-old Arya Coleman, 69-year-old Belinda Coleman, 76-year-old Ervin Coleman, 7-year-old Evan Coleman, 40-year-old Glenn Coleman, 70-year-old Horace Coleman, 2-year-old Maxwell Coleman, and 9-year-old Reece Coleman.

While the owner of Ripley Entertainment, which is responsible for operating the Ride the Ducks in Branson, has been working with authorities to help assist them with their investigation, the surviving families of those who were killed are now seeking answers as to why the duck boat ventured out into the water and what caused it to sink.

Although everyone is still wanting answers to help put this tragedy behind them, a wrongful death lawsuit in the sum of $100 million has been “filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri for the administrators of the estates of two family members who died- Ervin Coleman, 76, and Maxwell Ly, 2.” The lawsuit alleges that “This tragedy was predictable and a predicted result of decades of unacceptable, greed-driven, and willful ignorance of safety by the Duck Boat industry in the face of specific and repeated warnings that their Duck Boats are death traps for passengers and pose grave danger to the public on water and on land.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only incident that involved a duck boat. CNN pointed out that “there are 100-200 duck boats in the U.S. and that 42 people have died on land and water in accidents since 1999.” And because the operators of this particular duck boat are being questioned for their judgment and allowing the canopy to remain on the vehicle despite the warnings to have it removed, they could be looking at more lawsuits filed against them in the future.

The fact is, companies like Ripley Entertainment and others similar to it share similar responsibilities in that they need to ensure they are doing all that they can to help prevent an accident and keep passengers safe. Unfortunately, not all do and that is when accidents occur and people are left injured or killed. So, if you recently lost someone in a tragic accident in Gary, IN or you sustained injuries yourself and you are now wanting to obtain justice for your pain and suffering, contact Gary, IN personal injury attorney Marshall P. Whalley today at 219-769-2900. Our firm will not only stand behind you and defend you, but also fight for the compensation you are rightfully due.


You can also visit Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC at:

51 W. 112th Avenue

Crown Point, IN 46307


Toll Free-855-442-7211

Fax- 219-769-2995

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