A federal grand jury indicted the duck boat captain whose vessel capsized close to Branson, Missouri, killing 17 passengers, federal authorities introduced on Thursday.
Kenneth Scott McKee, a 51-year-old resident of Verona, Missouri, was charged with 17 counts of misconduct, negligence or inattention to responsibility by a ship’s officer, officers stated.
“Our total neighborhood was shocked and saddened by the lack of 17 lives on this tragic occasion final summer time,” U.S. Lawyer for Western District of Missouri Tim Garrison stated.
“As we speak’s indictment alleges that the misconduct, negligence and inattention to responsibility by the ship’s captain prompted or contributed to the lack of these lives,” stated Garrison.
The tragedy unfolded on July 19 when a Trip the Geese amphibious boat, dubbed “Stretch Duck 7,” ventured on to Desk Rock Lake throughout a thunderstorm with 60 mph winds.
The U.S. Coast Guard discovered possible trigger that the accident “resulted from the misconduct, negligence, or inattention to the duties” by McKee, in line with an August court docket submitting.
McKee operated the boat “in violation of the situations and limitations specified within the vessel’s United States Coast Guard issued Certificates of Inspection,” in line with the indictment.
And particularly, the captain additionally “did not correctly assess the character of the extreme climate,” the indictment stated.
9 of the victims had been from the identical household, together with three kids below 9 years previous. Two different kids had been amongst these killed.
Tia Coleman, mother of the three youngsters, additionally misplaced her husband in that accident. She thanked prosecutors on Thursday.
“Whereas nothing can ever ease the grief in my coronary heart, I’m grateful that the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace is combating for justice for my household, and the opposite victims, and is dedicated to holding totally accountable all these liable for this tragedy,” Coleman stated in a press release.