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The Latest: Coupled opted for duck boat ride at last minute

July 21, 2018

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly tourist boat accident in Missouri (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

A St. Louis-area couple who died in the tourist boat accident near Branson apparently opted for the duck boat ride at the last minute.

Among the 17 people who died Thursday on Table Rock Lake were 68-year-old Rosemarie Hamann and 69-year-old William Asher. Hamann celebrated her birthday earlier in the week. Her final Facebook photo was a selfie with Asher. He’s sticking his tongue out, and she’ smiling at his silliness.

Russ McKay of St. Louis met the couple four years ago when they offered to help with a charity event McKay was organizing. Since then, they worked on annual charities for veterans.

McKay said he talked to Hamann nearly every day, including during her trip to Branson. On Wednesday, she told McKay that she and Asher had just gone on the Branson Belle paddle boat and were planning to go again. But for some reason they opted instead for the duck boat. McKay didn’t know why.


10:15 a.m.

The driver of a Missouri duck boat that sank and killed 17 people is being remembered as a longtime pastor at a Rhode Island church.

WPRI-TV reports Robert Williams was a pastor and founder of Cathedral of Life in Providence, now called King’s Cathedral.

His son-in-law, Bishop Jeffery Williams, described the 73-year-old as a “prince of a man, loving, kind and generous.” He said the loss to the family is “incalculable.”

A statement from the church says Williams and his wife, Judith, helped found the church in 1999.

The station also reported Williams worked for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority as a building foreman. Spokespeople for the agency didn’t immediately comment Saturday.

Williams helmed the boat when it capsized in Table Rock Lake after a strong storm on Thursday.


10 a.m.

The deaths from the tourist boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Missouri exceeded the number of deaths on the lake over the past decade combined.

Seventeen people, including five children, died Thursday when an amphibious duck boat capsized on choppy waters during a storm. The National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies are investigating.

Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Laurie Driver says 16 drownings occurred on the lake from 2008 up until Thursday.

The lake is near the country music tourist town of Branson.

More than half of those killed in Thursdays’ accident 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.


8:45 a.m.

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.


11:15 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.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family members waiting in line. After they stopped for a picture, a ticket taker realized they should have boarded at a different location and reassigned them.

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.

Divers found the final four bodies Friday in Table Rock Lake near Branson after the deadliest accident of its kind in nearly two decades.


For the AP’s full story: https://bit.ly/2NyEEa3

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