CHICAGO (CBS) — More information is being released regarding the victims who died in the Missouri duck boat tragedy. More than half of those who drowned are from the same Indiana family.
Federal investigators are in Branson, Missouri collecting evidence and reviewing video of the deadly duck boat accident that happened Thursday night.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: 2,022 New Coronavirus Cases, 44 More Deaths
A Branson, Missouri storm overpowered a duck boat. Some of the passengers onboard managed to make it out alive and were treated on the shore.
17 people died in the accident, including nine of Tia Coleman’s loved ones. Coleman survived the accident.
“I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t hear screams. I just, it just felt I was out there on my own,” Tia Coleman recalled. “I was yelling, I was screaming, and I finally just said ‘Lord, let me die,'” she said.
From her hospital bed, Coleman, an Indiana native, says she and her nephew were the only survivors in her family.
A photo shows some of the victims. Coleman says she lost all of her children and her brother-in-law.
Somewhere between the grieving and recuperating, she described the panic on the water.READ MORE: Two People Shot While Driving On Stevenson Expressway
“I just can’t keep drowning, and that’s how I felt. And then I just let go and I started floating. I was floating up to the top and I felt the water temperature raise to warm. As I felt the water temperature raise, I jumped up and I saw the boat that sits out there. I don’t know what kind of boat it is, but it’s huge, though. When I saw them, they were throwing out life jackets to people,” Coleman explained.
Coleman said the captain told them “don’t worry about grabbing life jackets; you won’t need them,” but when it was time to grab them, it was too late.
The captain, Robert “Bob” Williams, also died when the boat was overtaken by the weather and water.
Considering the conditions, the owner of the duck boat said it shouldn’t have been in the water.
“Our investigation is comprehensive. We will look at the vessel and operation and the environment,” said Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Late Friday, the NTSB said they will be collecting evidence and interviewing people for up to ten days.
“We will be working to find out what happened and why and how to not let it happen again,” said Weener.MORE NEWS: Preservation Chicago Renews Call To Turn Chicago Lakefront Into National Park, Calls For Protection For Catholic Churches And West Loop Industrial Buildings
The NTBS added they should have a preliminary report done in a few weeks. Their full report will take about one year.