Duck Boat Accident Witnesses And Survivors Share Their Stories

Sunday, July 22nd 2018, 12:08 am
By: Amy Slanchik

These are the faces of some of the 17 men, women and children who lost their lives after the duck boat crash on Table Rock Lake.

Tia Coleman was on the duck boat with her three children and seven other family members when a powerful storm sent violent waves crashing against the boat, causing it to disappear under the water. Nine of Tia's family members, including all of her children and her husband - died.

"The worst feeling you could ever feel. The one thing I remember saying is, 'If they don't make it - Lord take me too. There's really no need for me to be here." said Coleman.

07/20/2018 Related Story: Duck Boat Accident Survivor Shares Her Story After Losing 9 Family Members

James and Telena Cooper from Chelsea were on vacation in Branson when they watched in disbelief as the boat went under.

"I'm in the medical field," said Telena. "And it was a complete helpless feeling knowing I know how to help people and I just couldn't get down there to help people."

07/20/2018 Related Story: Chelsea Couple Witnessed Duck Boat Accident

Branden Malaske of Harrah also witnessed the unimaginable.

"We actually saw one woman hanging on to the paddle of the bell and she was hanging on for dear life and were trying point everybody towards her. They eventually got her out," said Malaske.

The popular vacation spot for Oklahomans is unusually somber as it mourns the lives lost.

"To think that there were so many kids on there that either the parents don't have the kids anymore, or the kids don't have their parents anymore - it's just really heartbreaking."

07/20/2018 Related Story: Branson Community Pulls Together Following Tragic Boat Accident