UPDATE: Officials release boat accident victims' names

3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:23:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
By: KOMU 8 News Digital Staff and The Associated Press

BRANSON - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will meet with investigators Saturday at Table Rock Lake to receive a briefing on the status of the investigation into the duck boat tragedy around noon. 

Authorities have released the names of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson, Missouri, lake.

More than half of those killed were members of the same Indiana family. According to the Stone County Sheriff's Office, five of the dead were from Missouri, two were from Arkansas and one was from Illinois.

The Ride the Ducks boat sank Thursday in Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri after a strong storm.

The sheriff's department identified the Indiana family members 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.

The people from Missouri were identified as 69-year-old William Asher, 68-year-old Rosemarie Hamann, 63-year-old Janice Bright, 65-year-old William Bright, and 73-year-old Bob Williams.

Also killed were 64-year-old Leslie Dennison of Illinois and 15-year-old Lance Smith and 53-year-old Steve Smith from Arkansas.

As of 11 p.m. more than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

The grief-stricken community, known for its country shows and entertainment, hosted vigils Friday night in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks of Branson and at a church.

As of 8:30 p.m. the National Transportation Safety Board briefed the media with board member Earl Weener on their investigation of the accident. 

As of 12:30 p.m. people left flowers on all of the cars left in the Ride the Ducks parking lot. 

A press conference was held Friday morning following Thursday's fatal boat capsizing at Table Rock Lake.

As of 10:30 a.m. Friday, the death toll is at 17 people, with all missing persons located.

Authorities said the captain of the boat did survive, the driver of the duck boat did not.

As of 7:15 a.m. Friday, officials said at least 13 people are dead and four are still missing. Fourteen survived.

Sheriff Doug Rader reports the boat had 31 people on board. The Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said 14 people survived, including seven who were injured when the Ride the Ducks boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson Thursday evening.

The boat was owned by tourism company Ride the Ducks. It was founded in Branson and operated around the country. There have been eight deaths affiliated with the company since 2010. 

The Stone County Sheriff confirmed there were two duck boats in the water Thursday. One of the boats returned safely and the other sank. He said there were life jackets on board. They can't tell if the people were wearing them.

Gov. Parson said the main focus of the investigation is to unite the families and give them the resources needed. He later explained that even though many people have questions, they should not speculate the reasons why this event happened.

This is still an early investigation in which the Stone County Sheriff said he doesn't have all the details.

The lake is still open to the general public.

[Editor's note: this a developing story. KOMU 8 News will continue to update it as more information becomes available.]

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