WhatiLearned.com - What I Learned
At least 17 people, including nine members of an 11-person family group, are dead after the tourist vessel sank during a sudden storm Thursday.
At least 17 people are dead after a tourist duck boat sank during a sudden storm Thursday near Branson, Missouri.
Nine members of an 11-person family group from Indianapolis, Indiana, aboard the vessel are among the victims, Gov. Mike Parsons said Friday.
Here’s what we know so far about those who were killed:
One of the survivors, Tia Coleman, told Fox 59 News that she and her nephew were the only two from her family who survived.
Speaking by phone from a hospital in Branson, Coleman said she lost all of her children, her husband, her mother-in-law, her father-in-law, an uncle, her sister-in-law, and a nephew.
“My heart is very heavy,” Coleman said. “There’s not much that can be done. The only thing that I would like to be done can’t — it’s to bring my family back.”
Coleman said that while they were on the boat, the captain told passengers not to worry about putting on life jackets.
“You don’t need ’em,” she recalled him saying. “So nobody grabbed them.”
“However, in doing that, when it was time to grab them, it was too late,” Coleman continued. “And I believe that a lot of people could have been spared.”
Robert “Bob” Williams, the driver of the vessel, was among those killed in the accident, Branson Mayor Karen Best confirmed to the Associated Press.
The mayor said Williams, known as “Captain Bob,” was “a great ambassador” for the town.
“He was at every event,” Best said. “He knew everyone.”
Williams’ wife, Judy, told CNN her husband was also “a man of God.”
“He’d talk to anybody,” she said. “He made an effect on many lives. He would give up his life for somebody.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more victims are identified. Check back and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.