Survivor of duck boat accident describes horrific scene

BRANSON, Mo. - A woman who lost nine of her family members in Thursday night's duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake described the horrifying series of events as she thought she was dying.

"And I was yelling, screaming, and finally I said, 'Lord just let me die, let me die, I can't keep drowning, I just can't keep drowning,' that's what I felt," Tia Coleman told KOLR10 from her hospital bed in Branson, where she's recovering with critical injuries.

“I can't see anybody, I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't hear screams, it feels like I was out there on my own."

The mother said it wasn't until she started to float to the top of the water that she found a second bout of strength.

"And when I saw they were throwing out life jackets to people and I said, 'Jesus keep me just keep me so I can get to my children. Keep me, Lord.'”

Coleman said she and her family travel to Branson often for vacation. She said they went to the wrong duck boat business but were able to switch out their tickets for the 6:30 p.m. ride. It was less than an hour later that nine of her family members were killed.

She said she was there with her husband and their three children, ages 9, 7, and 1. Coleman said her in-laws were also there.

The survivor told KOLR10 that the only surviving family member on the boat ride was her 13-year-old nephew.