Weather Alert

State Criminal Charges Filed in Branson Duck Boat Sinking That Killed 17

FILE - In this July 23, 2018, file photo, a duck boat that sank during a thunderstorm on July 19, 2018, killing 17 people on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., is raised from the bottom of the lake. A federal grand jury on has indicted two more employees of a company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people. The 47-count indictment was unsealed and made public Thursday, June 20, 2019 by the Springfield grand jury. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, FIle)

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced criminal charges have bee filed against Ride the Ducks Branson employees in relation to the sinking on Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018 which resulted in the deaths of 17 individuals.

The probable cause statement filed with the court alleges the Duck boat entered Table Rock Lake during a severe thunderstorm warning, encountered severe weather and rough winds, took on water and eventually sunk. Scott McKee, the Captain of the boat is charged with failing to exercise his duties and failing to follow policies and training by not having passengers affix flotation devices as the boat took on water.

Charles Baltzell, the Operations Supervisor, and General Manager Curtis Lanham are alleged to have failed to communicate weather conditions and cease operations during the severe thunderstorm warning.

All three are charged with 17 counts of First Degree Involuntary Manslaughter. Captain McKee faces additional charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The charges are filed in Stone County.

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