How to help Branson duck boat victims and their families

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Sunday, July 22, 2018
Relatives of duck boat victims speak out
A Georgia couple was heartbroken after learning that nine of their family members were killed in the Branson duck boat accident.

If you'd like to help the victims of the duck boat tragedy in Branson, Missouri, there are several different fundraising campaigns currently accepting cash donations.

The largest fundraiser so far benefits the Coleman family, which lost nine members in the accident. Tia and Donovan Coleman were the only family members who managed to escape the sinking boat.

The Stone County Sheriff's Department identified the deceased family members as 45-year-old Angela Coleman, 1-year-old Arya Coleman, 69-year-old Belinda Coleman, 76-year-old Ervin Coleman, 7-year-old Evan Coleman, 40-year-old Glenn Coleman, 70-year-old Horace Coleman, 2-year-old Maxwell Coleman, and 9-year-old Reece Coleman.

Nine members of the Coleman family died when a duck boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake Thursday in Missouri. Two family members survived the tragedy.
Family photo via WRTV-TV

A GoFundMe campaign benefitting the family has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars as of Sunday afternoon. Donations will be used to help offset funeral costs for the nine family members who died, according to the campaign's description.

GoFundMe told ABC that it has verified the campaign's authenticity.

A family member confirmed to local media outlets that another GoFundMe titled "Coleman Family Boat Accident" is also legitimate.

In total, 17 people were killed when the boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening. The Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Skaggs Foundation to launch a third GoFundMe collecting donations for the families of all victims.

Others who died were 69-year-old William Asher, 68-year-old Rosemarie Hamann, 63-year-old Janice Bright, 65-year-old William Bright, and the crew member operating the boat, 73-year-old Bob Williams, all from Missouri. Also killed were 64-year-old Leslie Dennison of Illinois, and 53-year-old Steve Smith and his son, 15-year-old Lance Smith, both from Arkansas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.