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USTwo more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people

06:10  21 june  2019
06:10  21 june  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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– Prosecutors announced Thursday that two more employees of Ripley Entertainment have been indicted on federal charges related to last year's duck boat sinking on Table Rock Lake that Lanham and Baltzell join 51-year-old duck boat captain Kenneth McKee as the three people

– Prosecutors announced Thursday that two more employees of Ripley Entertainment have been indicted on federal charges related to last year's Kenneth Scott McKee was indicted Thursday in connection with the tragic duck boat sinking that killed 17 people , including nine members of one

Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people
Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Prosecutors announced Thursday that two more employees of Ripley Entertainment have been indicted on federal charges related to last year's duck boat sinking on Table Rock Lake that resulted in 17 deaths.

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(AP) — A federal grand jury 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 boat 's captain, Kenneth Scott McKee, was indicted previously on charges alleging that he failed to properly asses the weather and

(AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted two more employees of a company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people . Curtis Lanham, the general manager at Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the operations supervisor, were charged with

Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Curtis P. Lanham, 36, of Galena and Charles V. Baltzell, 76, of Kirbyville were each indicted on more than a dozen felony charges.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri says Lanham was the general manager of Ride the Ducks Branson, and Baltzell was the company's operations supervisor.

Lanham and Baltzell join 51-year-old duck boat captain Kenneth McKee as the three people indicted so far on criminal charges in this case.

The U.S. Attorney's Office accuses the employees of Ripley Entertainment, which operated Ride the Ducks Branson, of prioritizing profits over safety when they put the amphibious Stretch Duck 7 vessel on the water on the evening of July 19 despite warnings that severe weather was approaching.

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A federal grand jury has indicted two more employees of a company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people . Curtis Lanham, the general manager at Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the operations supervisor, were charged with misconduct

- A federal grand jury has indicted two more employees of a company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people . Curtis Lanham, the general manager at Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the operations supervisor, were charged with misconduct

Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people© Nathan Papes/News-Leader The duck boat has been brought up to the surface of Table Rock Lake. Crews continue to work on the salvage operation.

The indictment lays out a timeline of the events that evening and describes how prosecutors believe the trio of employees broke federal laws.

According to the indictment, the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area at 11:24 a.m. that day, which extended through 9 p.m.

Baltzell, who was in charge of monitoring the weather, checked the radar that evening and told McKee and the duck boat’s road driver at 6:28 p.m. to start the tour with the water portion and then finish with the road portion since a storm was on its way, according to the indictment.

Four minutes later, the National Weather Service upgraded the severe thunderstorm watch to a warning, with language about 60 mph wind gusts. U.S. Coast Guard regulations state the duck boat vessels shouldn’t be operated in winds exceeding 35 mph.

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- A federal grand jury has indicted two more employees of a company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people . Curtis Lanham, the general manager at Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the operations supervisor, were charged with misconduct

(The Springfield News-Leader via AP). KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal grand jury 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 duck boat embarked on its scheduled tour, anyway, and went into Table Rock Lake. McKee allegedly told the passengers they would not need their life jackets.

As the severe weather was moving closer, Baltzell was allegedly performing his “close out duties” at Ride the Ducks Branson, related to sales and the cash drawer, and not closely monitoring the weather.

The weather conditions got progressively worse as the duck boat was out on the lake, but the indictment says the defendants failed to act properly.

In the three minutes before the duck boat sank at 7:09 p.m., the indictment says McKee said nothing to the passengers, despite the concerning weather conditions and the bilge alarm on the vessel going off twice.

The indictment says McKee also failed to pilot the boat toward the nearest shore.

McKee got no instruction or warning from Lanham or Baltzell during the trip, according to the indictment.

McKee is charged with 17 counts of misconduct and negligence by a vessel captain, resulting in the death of another person.

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Baltzell is charged with 17 counts of aiding and abetting misconduct and negligence by a vessel captain, resulting in the death of another person.

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Lanham is charged with 17 felony counts of misconduct and neglect by an executive officer of the corporate charterer/owner.

Baltzell, Lanham and McKee are also facing 13 misdemeanor charges of recklessly operating a vessel for the 13 passengers who survived the duck boat sinking.

Of the 17 victims who died in the sinking, nine were from the same family.

In addition to the criminal cases, many of the survivors and families of the victims are suing Ripley Entertainment in civil court.

A Ripley Entertainment spokeswoman released the following statement on Thursday afternoon:

"We continue to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other agencies as they investigate the facts surrounding the unprecedented storm and resulting accident on Table Rock Lake that occurred last July.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to help and support the community of Branson and those impacted by this accident. While the United States Attorney has decided to bring criminal charges as a result of the accident, all persons charged are entitled to a strong presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We have and will continue to offer support for all of our employees as this process moves forward.

"From the day of the accident, we have worked with our partners in the community to help the victims and all those affected by the tragedy. While we know lives lost cannot be replaced, we have worked with the victims and their families and have reached settlement agreements with many individuals and families, and we continue to work with others."

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Two more duck boat employees indicted on federal charges in sinking that killed 17 people

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