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Fatal Branson duck boat sinking referred to federal prosecutors; daughter of St. Louis victim sues

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The U.S. Coast Guard has referred July’s fatal duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake to federal prosecutors.Don Ledford of the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City told the Kansas City Star that the case was referred “to consider a potential criminal investigation and federal prosecution.”Seventeen people died when the duck boat sank last month on the lake near Branson, about 200 miles southwest of St. Louis.
“During the course of the initial part of our investigation, the fact-finding part, we identified stuff that could point to some sort of criminal activity,” Alana Miller, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, told the Kansas City Star. “And we are not in the business of criminal investigations.”Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley also is conducting a criminal investigation.
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Rose Hamann and William Asher in a photo posted to social media in May.

The lawsuit was filed by Jennifer Asher of St. Louis in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. It says Stretch Duck 7 owner Ripley Entertainment ignored the inherent danger of an amphibious vehicle, disregarded the safety of passengers, failed to train employees on safety procedures and failed to warn its passengers of the danger. The suit seeks unspecified damages for product liability, negligence, wrongful death and other claims.
Bill Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, Rose Hamann, 68, were among those who died July 19 when a duck boat full of tourists sank in a severe storm. The suit says Bill Asher was on a two-week vacation at the time.The companies named in the suits and their lawyers have declined to comment on past suits.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Table Rock Lake

Missouri State Police search the waters of Table Rock Lake a little after 6 a.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018. On Thursday evening strong winds whipped up …


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