Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has re-filed criminal charges in a duck boat accident that killed 17 in 2018.
Background: In 2018, Ride the Ducks Branson allowed a boat of 31 people to go out in a thunderstorm with winds as high as 73 mph. A boating accident resulted in 17 casualties.
Kenneth Scott McKee the boat captain, Curtis Lanham the general manager, and Charles Baltzell the manager were all charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter.
Earlier this month Missouri Judge Alan Blankenship dismissed the case against the three individuals.
What Happened: Two days after the judge’s dismissal AG Schmitt re-filed the charges.
The dismissal, however, was without prejudice, so Schmitt soon after refiled charges with a probable cause statement that said the three men failed to properly check weather monitoring systems or follow the company’s own operations manual. (per Fox News)
What AG Schmitt Says: “As I’ve said previously, my Office is committed to fighting for justice on behalf of the 17 people that were tragically killed in 2018 – that’s why we re-filed the charges in this case,” Schmitt said in a statement, according to local outlet OzarksFirst.com. (per Fox News)
What Judge Blankenship Says: During the dismissal, he said that while the defendants were aware of the storm, the evidence did not show that they knew about its “gust front.”
He also said the boat’s own design resulted in it sinking quickly.
What Comes Next: Court records show that the case was requested to be assigned to a new judge.