Surveillance video sought of fatal duck boat accident
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Surveillance video could help confirm witness accounts of an amphibious tourist boat crash that killed a woman on a downtown Philadelphia street at the height of rush hour, authorities said Saturday.
Witnesses reported that “the victim was walking while looking at an electronic device and proceeded to cross the street against the red light” when she was hit by the Ride The Ducks boat in Friday evening in Chinatown, a police spokeswoman said.
Elizabeth Karnicki, 68, of Beaumont, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters that the woman’s husband had been walking several feet ahead of her.
“The husband heard her scream, turned around, and saw that his wife had been struck,” Small told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He said passengers and eyewitnesses on the street had been interviewed, and footage from multiple surveillance cameras will be reviewed, but it appears to be “a tragic accident.” No charges have been filed.
Investigators hadn’t yet received video that captures the accident, the police spokeswoman said Saturday.
The duck boats are a popular way for tourists to see the sights of Philadelphia from both land and water.
Atlanta-based Ride The Ducks said in a statement that “the thoughts and prayers” of the entire organization were with the woman’s family and friends.
“We will provide counseling for those affected by the accident and offer support wherever possible,” the statement said.
In July 2010, a tugboat-guided barge slammed into and sank a duck boat in the Delaware River, killing two Hungarian tourists. The tug pilot, who was on his cellphone at the time of the crash, was sentenced to a year in prison. The tour company and tug operator agreed to a $17 million settlement. The duck boats did not operate tours for eight months after the crash.