Prosecutors: Possible Negligence in Missouri Duck Boat Sinking


The U.S. Coast Guard has found probable cause that the sinking of a tourist boat on a Missouri lake last month that killed 17 people “resulted from the misconduct, negligence, or inattention to the duties” by the captain of the boat, according to a court motion filed by federal prosecutors.

The U.S. attorney’s office also said in the motion that the captain of a second duck boat that made it safely to shore when the storm kicked up on Table Rock Lake near Branson on July 19 acted in a “grossly negligent manner.” The filing doesn’t elaborate on those findings.
Prosecutors ordered the lawyers involved in the case to be delayed from the federal court of Kansas City as they moved into action, to share information and evidence they had gathered up to the completion of the sinking investigation.

In the Western District of Missouri, three federal lawsuits were filed against duck-boat operators, with Ruckley Entertainment having the charm of Ducks in the lake.

US attorney Timothy Garrison and his assistant US attorneys Randall Eggert and Casey Clark have expressed the opinion that the same evidence, documents and witnesses will be part of criminal investigations and trials. While attorneys in the proceedings, while the investigation is underway and sharing some evidence may weaken the criminal case, they argue that the government does not have the right to know the nature of the case.

They argue that criminal cases are a priority over civilized matters because of their interest in knowing whether the public is leading the tragic criminal proceedings. The Coast Guard reported the investigation to the federal prosecutor’s office on 13 August. No accusations were made.

Robert Mongeluzzi, who filed two lawsuits on behalf of relatives of nine members of an Indiana family who died on a boat in Philadelphia-based law firm, said on Wednesday that the company supports efforts to justice the company, including possible criminal prosecution. tragedy. However, he said he did not guarantee that his company would continue in all legal cases and that he intended to give an answer to explain why civil proceedings could continue without harming the criminal proceedings.

The prosecutors, in their inquiry, conducted a blanket of Stretch Boat 7, including Captain Kenneth McKee, who was involved in the case and among others, and Capt, who operated Stretch Duck 54, which went safely to the shore. McKee did not respond immediately to a call to comment. A woman who answered King’s phone said she was advised not to talk to the media.
The Coast Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Amy Midgett, said the agency had not commented on the pending criminal investigation. Suzanne Smagala-Potts, a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, also said that the company continues to cooperate with the authorities, but will not comment on the ongoing investigation.

The Branson Ducks offers car-driven tours on the land before entering the lake for a journey of about 20 minutes. The video and sounds shot after the boat had settled calmed down as the lake entered the water, but showed a sudden burst of winds at 70 mph, and 31 people sinking in a minute of a ship they were carrying.

In the case, lawyers argue that duck operators were ignoring air warnings that day, and that long-lived ignorant consultants and others who pointed out that the design of the boats was dangerous and should be changed.

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