Three people face 60 charges in total for their alleged roles in the sinking of a duck boat on a Missouri lake, where 17 people died.
Investigators painted a picture of negligence by the boat’s captain and the company’s managers, who allowed the boat to enter the water during severe weather.
Last week, the Missouri Attorney General’s office announced it filed criminal charges in connection to the sinking of the duck boat in Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018. A duck boat is an amphibious land-water vessel used to give tours.
There were 29 passengers on the boat and 17 of them died, including five children.
Captain Scott McKee was charged with 17 counts of first-degree voluntary manslaughter, five counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A felony, and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class D felony.
Operations Supervisor Charles Baltzell and General Manager Curtis Lanham were charged with 17 counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.
According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri State Police, there was an active thunderstorm warning when the boat went into the water. McKee tried to drive the boat north, but it took on water and eventually sunk.
The boat came to rest in about 85 feet of water, investigators said.
Police say McKee failed in his duties by going in the water during the thunderstorm warning and he failed to have passengers put on personal flotation devices as the boat started to take on water.
Baltzell’s duties included monitoring weather and communicating it with the boats, according to police. Lanham was responsible for the day-to-day management, which included training and setting policies.