The former General Manager and the former Operations Supervisor of Ride the Ducks Branson have both been indicted on 17 counts of misconduct and neglect. Similar charges were pressed against the captain of Stretch Duck 7, the duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake back in July of 2018.
36-year-old Curtis Lanham of Galena, the former General Manager of Ride the Ducks, is charged with “17 felony counts of misconduct and neglect by an executive officer of the corporate charterer/owner,” according to a statement released by the office of Timothy Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
76-year-old Charles Baltzell of Kirbyville, the former Operations Supervisor, has been added to the 17 counts of misconduct and negligence by a vessel captain, resulting in the death of another person that already face Stretch Duck 7’s captain, Kenneth Scott McKee.
In relation to those charges facing McKee, Baltzell is considered an
“Aider and abettor of misconduct and neglect by a vessel captain”.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says Baltzell was,
“Responsible for ensuring the duck boat tours ran in sequence and acted as a dispatcher through the use of radio and other communications methods while the duck boat tours were ongoing.”
Garrison’s office is also arguing Baltzell failed to assess weather conditions leading up to the deployment of Stretch Duck 7.
As for Lanham, the U.S. Attorney claims the Ride the Ducks GM “allowed McKee, Baltzell, and others to engage in neglect, misconduct, and violation of law.”
The release from Garrison’s office goes on to claim Lanham would created a work atmosphere that hindered those tasked with watching the weather before a Ride the Ducks tour from doing so.
“Lanham allegedly neglected to properly assess incoming weather and negligently allowed McKee to enter the vessel on the water when there was lightning and severe weather approaching the area,” the release reads.
Each of the 17 felony charges facing McKee, Lanham, and Baltzell, represents a person that died on Stretch Duck 7 in 2018.
The three are each facing 13 misdemeanor counts, one for each of the surviving passengers aboard Stretch Duck 7 that day, as well.