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Woman who lost 9 family members in fatal duck boat ride speaks

BRANSON, Mo. (KOLR/WISH) — Tia Coleman cried, “I miss them, I miss them,” as a doctor wheeled her away from a Saturday afternoon press conference where she spoke about the loss of her husband, children and other relatives who were among the 17 killed in a duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri, on Thursday night. 

Coleman, her husband Glenn, her three children, as well as her mother-in-law and father-in-law lived in Indianapolis. 

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, where Tia Coleman works as a paralegal, on Saturday said the prayers of their office were with their co-worker, who survived a fatal duck boat ride in Branson, Missouri, but lost nine family members in the accident. 

Full statement from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office: 

We are devastated by the unimaginable loss suffered by our friend and colleague Tia Coleman. The thoughts and prayers of our entire Marion County Prosecutor’s Office family are with Tia, her extended family and friends, and the other survivors of this tragic incident.

Officials have released the names of the 17 people who died in a fatal duck boat ride in Missouri. Nine of the victims are from Indianapolis.

A GoFundMe was created to help with the medical expenses of the survivors. 

The victims of the boat ride were later identified as: 

  • William Asher, 69, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Rosemarie Hamann, 68, St. Louis Mo.
  • Janice Bright, 63, Higginsville, Mo.
  • William Bright, 65, Higginsville, Mo.
  • Angela Coleman, 45, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Arya Coleman, 1, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Belinda Coleman, 69, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Ervin Coleman, 76, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Evan Coleman, 7, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Glenn Coleman, 40, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Horace Coleman, 70, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Maxwell Coleman, 2, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Reece Coleman, 9, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Leslie Dennison, 64, Illinois.
  • Bob Williams, 73, Branson.
  • Lance Smith, 15, Osceola, Ark.
  • Steve Smith, 53, Osceola, Ark.

A surviving member of the Coleman family recalled the ordeal from a hospital bed. 

Investigators blamed stormy weather for the accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake. Winds at the time were blowing as hard as 65 mph.

Fourteen people survived, including seven who were injured when the boat went down, state police said.

Governor Eric Holcomb released a statement on the accident Saturday:

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.