Missouri Duck Boat Tragedy: Survivor From Decimated Family Speaks Out as Victims ID'd
9 of the 17 victims in Thursday's capsizing were from the Coleman family.
The family that was decimated in Thursday's tragic Missouri duck boat capsizing has been identified and one of only two members to survive has spoken out.
Tia Coleman was aboard the amphibious touring vessel on Table Rock Lake with her extended family when a storm ripped through Branson and created what were nearly hurricane-like conditions on Table Rock Lake.
"This big huge waves choppy, everybody started getting like hey, this is getting a little bit too much," Coleman recalled to KOLR. "And then it got really choppy and big swells of water started coming in to the boat, then a really huge wave swept over."
Coleman lost nine members of her family, including her husband and three young children.
"The last thing I heard my sister-in-law say was grab the baby," Coleman grimly recalled from a hospital bed late Friday.
Victims from the Coleman family were identified as Maxwell Coleman, 2; Reece Coleman, 9; and Evan Coleman, 7; Angela Coleman, 45, Belinda Coleman, 69, Ervin Coleman, 76, Glenn Coleman, 40, and Horace Coleman, 70.
Tia Coleman and her 13-year-old nephew were the only family members to make it to shore alive.
In news that somehow makes a story of complete loss even darker, the AP reports that the Colemans were only on the ill-fated boat after a ticket mix-up.
The family initially attempted to board a duck boat with the wrong company operating on the lake. When they made it to the correct boarding area, they had to wait for another duck boat--the one that ultimately sank.
Per People, a Missouri couple celebrating their wedding anniversary were also among the dead. Janice Bright, 63, and William Bright, 65, from Higginsville, had been married for 45 years.
The Brights were expecting their 17th grandchild soon.
A father and son were also killed. Steve Smith, 53, and Lance Smith, 15, were visiting the country music mecca from Arkansas.
The Smiths were active members of their church in Osceola.
William Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, 68-year-old Rose Hamann were on the boat. Friends said the two were "inseparable."
Leslie Dennison was also named among the victims, per KMOV. Her son told the station his mother gave her own life to save her granddaughter's.
Bob Williams, the driver of the boat, was also among the victims. Family members described him as God-fearing man who leaves behind a loving wife of more than 30 years.
In the wake of the unspeakable loss for so many, the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce and Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce have created a GoFundMe page, money from which will be distributed to the families.
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