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Tia Coleman Bio, Biography, Age, Duck Boat Accident, Deceased Family, Other Victims and Investigations

Tia Coleman Bio, Biography

Tia Coleman was with ten members of her family on the Duck boat which capsized and sank near Branson, Missouri.  Nine members of her family died in the water during the storm, only her and her nephew survived in the Coleman family. The popular tourist duck boat capsized and then sank with 31 people on board, including children, on July 19, 2018. High winds from a severe thunderstorm caused rough waters, and waves crashed into the boat, flooding it. The Stone County Sheriff confirmed that 17 people died in the tragedy. Divers worked into the darkness, looking for missing people in the capsized boat, and, by July 20, 2018, they announced that they had accounted for all passengers.

The Coleman family was visiting Branson from Indianapolis, and the Missouri governor’s office says that family accounts for more than half the people who lost their lives last night. From her hospital bed, Tia Coleman recounted what it was like the moment she went in the water.

Coleman studied at Indiana University (Bloomington), went to Arsenal Technical High School and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana as per her Facebook page.

The crew member operating the boat was Bob Williams, known informally as “Captain Bob.”  He was the first victim identified in the “Ride the Ducks” tragedy. According to CNN, Williams was the driver of the boat. He was 73-years-old.


Age Late 30s
Residence Indianapolis, Indiana in the U.S.
Deceased Family  members of the Duck Boat Accident According to local authorities, the deceased members of the family were named as;

  • Angela Coleman, 45;
  • Arya Coleman, 1;
  • Belinda Coleman, 69;
  • Ervin Coleman, 76;
  • Evan Coleman, 7;
  • Glenn Coleman, 40;
  • Horace Coleman, 70;
  • Maxwell Coleman, 2 and
  • Reece Coleman, 9.
Education  Indiana University (Bloomington), went to Arsenal Technical High School
GoFundMe  You can help Tia Coleman and the other Branson Duck Survivors in their  GoFundMe account.

Tia Coleman Account of the Duck Boat Accident

Tia appeared at an emotional interview where she stated “I couldn’t see anybody, I couldn’t hear anything, I couldn’t hear screams I just it just felt like I was out there on my own. And I was yelling I was screaming. Finally, I said ‘Lord just let me die. Just let me die.’ I said I can’t keep drowning, I just can’t keep drowning, and that’s how I felt,”

Those who died were Coleman’s husband and three children, ages nine, seven and one; her sister-in-law and two-year-old nephew; her mother-in-law and father-in-law and her husband’s uncle.

Ms Coleman said as the boat reached the water there were “big, huge waves.” She said passengers told crew members, “This is a little bit too much.”  Ms Coleman also said the captain, the late Bob Williams, told passengers not to bother grabbing life jackets.

Then a huge wave hit and the boat began sinking.

Ms Coleman’s aunt, Carolyn Coleman said in a statement that she asked her niece about the family’s final moments when the boat they were in capsized; “I asked her what was their last words … She said all she could hear and say was, ‘Grab the babies!’ And that was it. They got one group of waves and then they got a second one, and that’s when the boat started to sink,” Carolyn Coleman said.

The Indiana family wouldn’t have been on the ill-fated trip were it not for a ticket mix-up. Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family members waiting in line. After they stopped for a picture, she said, a ticket taker realised they should have boarded at a different location and reassigned them. Tia Colema confirmed the statement saying that the family first went to the wrong duck boat business but switched out their tickets for the, 6:30 pm on 19 July 2018, ride.

Tia Coleman walked onto the Ride with the Ducks boat with 10 members of her family, including her three small children and her husband. Only Tia and a nephew made it alive.

In a  tear-filled press conference on July 21, 2018 in which she went through each family member who died by name, one-by-one, and described what she would say to each person now.

Coleman would tell her son to “be anything he wanted to be” and would tell her daughter to “always look out for your brothers. Keep the family together.” She would “tell my husband what I always tell him. We’re in this life for better or worse.”

“God must have something for me because there’s no way I should be here,” Tia Coleman added, breaking into tears at several points in the heart-wrenching press conference.

Other Victims of the Duck Boat Accident

Among the injured was 14-year-old Loren Smith of Osceola, Arkansas. Her father, 53-year-old, a retired maths teacher Steve Smith, and her 15-year-old brother, Lance who died in the accident.

The Captain of the boat identified as Bob Williams, known informally as “Captain Bob.” he was the first victim to be identified.

Also killed in the accident were couple Bill Asher, 69, and his girlfriend Rose Hamman, 68. They two were on holiday in Branson and spent their last night on the duck boat, according to friends.

Leslie Denison, a 64-year-old grandmother, was sightseeing with her granddaughter Alicia, 12. Denison lost her life in the tragedy, but Alicia survived and claimed that she could feel her grandmother pushing her to safety.

William and Janice Bright were also victims of the catastrophic accident. They were celebrating their 45th anniversary on the boat. The couple, aged 65 and 63, were grandparents to 16 children with a 17th on the way.

Investigations into the Duck Boat Accident

A full investigation into the tragic accident is underway. It involves collaboration from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader encouraged anybody with video or photographs of the accident to contact authorities.

They were briefing were Missouri’s two Senators on the accident. Democrat Claire McCaskill said she would she would look into possible “legislative solutions,” while Republican Roy Blunt called it a “tragedy that never should have happened.”

Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, which owns the Ride in the Ducks in Branson, said the organisation was helping authorities.

The company have never recorded another accident for the past 40 years in operation.

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Moses Njoroge is the Senior Editor at Glob Intel, a news and IT service provider company. He has a wide range of experience in freelance writing, Web/System Development and other related IT services.

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