Members of Indiana family among 17 killed in Missouri duck boat sinking

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 11 members of an Indianapolis-area family were on board the Ride the Ducks boat when it capsized on a Branson lake Thursday night after a strong storm. Nine of them, including three children, died. 

They have been 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.

Tia Coleman and her 13-year-old nephew were the only surviving family members. Coleman lost her husband Glenn and her three children, 1-year-old Arya, 7-year-old Evan, and 9-year-old Reece; her sister-in-law, and 2-year-old nephew; her mother-in-law and father-in-law and her husband's uncle.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb released a statement Saturday, offering his condolences to the family. 

"Janet and I are stunned and heartsick over this tragedy. To lose so many loved ones in an instant is horrifying, and I cannot imagine the depth of pain the Coleman's friends and family are going through now. I ask my fellow Hoosiers to join me in offering prayers and condolences, especially for the two survivors."


Tia Coleman said part of the reason her family went on the boat ride was for her 9-year-old son Reece, who had autism. She said he loved the water and they took the boat ride because it was something he'd enjoy.

The Associated Press reports the family likely wound up on the trip after a ticket mix-up.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she remembers the family waiting in line. After stopping for a photo, a ticket taker realized the family should have been boarded at a different location and reassigned them, according to The Associated Press.

The National Weather Service says it issued a severe thunderstorm warning and winds gusted up to 60 miles per hour.

Officials say debris from an earlier storm may have been a factor in the accident. 

17 people total, five of them children, died in the accident. Several of the 14 survivors were injured. 

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences Friday, extending his deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved. 

The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat had passed an inspection in February. Officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol say the 31 people aboard the boat weren't wearing life jackets when the it sank.

Patrol officials released an incident report Saturday with details about the fatal accident. The report notes that the boat was overcome by strong winds in a thunderstorm, which caused the boat to be swamped with water before sinking.

The NTSB, coast guard and local law enforcement agencies are investigating the accident.


Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.