*We’ve all been hearing about the “duck boat” that capsized earlier this week in the stormy waters of Table Rock Lake and as a result, 17 people were killed including nine members of the Coleman family from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Remarkably, three generations of the Indianapolis family even posed for a group picture in Branson, Mo., moments before they boarded an amphibious boat and tragedy struck.
Nine of the 11 vacationing Colemans were among the 17 killed in the Missouri duck boat tragedy, authorities said Friday.
In retrospect, what’s also heartbreaking is that while taking the photo, the Colemans realized they had purchased tickets for another boat — one that could have saved their lives, a witness to the incident recalled.
The Coleman family then made the snap decision to get new tickets and board the doomed duck boat that would later sink into the depths of the man-made Ozarks lake, reports the NY Post.
“My heart is very heavy,” one of the two family survivors, Tia Coleman, told WXIN-TV.
“Out of 11 of us, only two of us surviving — that’s me and my nephew.”
She added: “I lost all my children, my brother-in-law.”
Belinda Coleman, Glenn Coleman, Horace “Butch” Coleman, Irvin Raymond Coleman and Angela Coleman, all adults, and children Evan Coleman, Reece Coleman, Maxwell Coleman and Arya Coleman, perished, family member Ingrid Coleman Douglas told the Indianapolis Star.
“It’s unimaginable,” she said. “I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people this way,” she told the newspaper.
Kyrie Rose, whose husband is a member of the Coleman family, said the family enjoyed their annual journey and get-together.
“They were definitely a very close-knit, loving family,” Rose said. “It’s really difficult to place an emotion on it. All of our hearts just hurt.”
From her hospital bed, Tia Coleman relived the terrifying moments when the boat capsized and she nearly drowned.
“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,” she told KOZL-TV. “And then I just let go and I started floating. I float to the top I felt the water temperature raise to warm.”
And before the survivor knew it, she was within sight of another ship.
“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,’” Tia Coleman said.
Others stuck in the sinking boat showed signs of desperation.
Hero grandmother Leslie Denninson, 64, died in the sinking — but heroically pushed her granddaughter up to safety, loved ones told the Kansas City Star.
The victim’s adult son, Todd Dennison, said his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, showed him in the hospital how — as the boat submerged — grandma pushed her upward to safety.
He later praised his mom on Facebook: “The thing [is] she truly cared about Alicia she helped to safety and I look at her as a hero!!”
You can MORE of this story at NY Post.