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'Our family tree is broken:' Coleman family describes losing 9 members, wants duck boats banned

Posted at 1:22 PM, Jul 31, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 50 members of the extended Rose-Coleman family filled a conference room Tuesday to discuss their loss and to demand that duck boats be banned so no family ever has to go through the same tragedy as they have. 

On July 19,  17 people were killed in Branson, Missouri when a duck boat sank during a sightseeing tour. Nine of those victims were members of the Coleman family. 

One by one, the surviving relatives introduced themselves and described those losses to the crowd gathered Tuesday. 

They had lost cousins, brothers, aunts and uncles. 

"We lost a branch of our family tree."

Attorneys filed a second wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of two more of the drowning victims' families on Tuesday. The two lawsuits are worth $200 million. 

READ | $100M lawsuit filed byfamilyof  Indy duck boat victims

The lawyer representing the family said they only want two things: To know what happened and to make sure it doesn't happen to another family. 

Attorney Robert Mongeluzzi said the problem with duck boats are the canopies. If a duck boat sinks with a canopy and a person is wearing a life vest, they will rise to the canopy, Mongeluzzi said. If the person isn't wearing a life vest, they won't have the buoyancy to escape the boat.

"The position the put the passenger in, is you drown if you do, and drown if you don't," attorney Robert Mongeluzzi said. "You're dead if you do, you're dead if you don't."

Watch the full news conference below:

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