Duck boat victims: 9 family members died in accident

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The sinking of a duck boat near Branson, Missouri, took the lives of 17 people, including nine members of one family. The amphibious vehicle went down in about 40 feet of water Thursday during rough weather at Table Rock Lake.

Here’s what we know about the victims, most of whom have not yet been identified.

Bill Asher and Rose Heupel Hamann
The couple lived together in the south St. Louis County municipality of Affton. Friends and neighbors said the two were in Branson celebrating Hamann’s 70th birthday.

9 in family killed
Speaking to CNN International on Friday afternoon, Gov. Mike Parson said, “One lady lost nine of 11 members of her family. … I had a chance to talk to her, and it’s difficult to find the right words to say other than your thoughts and prayers are with her.”

The woman’s 13-year-old nephew also survived, the governor said.

Steve and Lance Smith
Steve Smith, a vacationing retired teacher from Osceola, Arkansas, and his teenage son, Lance Smith, died in the lake, said Glenn Oakes, a church elder at the Osceola Church of Christ.

Oakes said he was informed of the deaths by in-laws of the Smiths. Oakes said Smith was a church deacon in their 35-member congregation. “It was a great loss for the church,” says Oakes.

Smith’s daughter, Loren, reportedly suffered a concussion in the incident, but was rescued and was taken to a local hospital. Pam Smith, the girl’s mother, was on shore at the time of the accident.

Robert “Bob” Williams
Williams was the driver on the duck boat.

“He’d talk to anybody,” his widow, Judy Williams, said Friday in a phone interview. “He made an effect on many lives. He would give up his life for somebody. That’s the kind of man Robert was, is.”

His grandson, Victor Richardson, told CNN: “He was a God-fearing man; he was very humble. He was the calmest spirit you could ever meet.”

Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived in Branson, Victor Richardson said.

William and Janice Bright
This husband and wife from Higginsville, Missouri, died in the Branson accident, Karen Abbott, Williams Bright’s sister, tells CNN affiliate KSHB.

By Ralph Ellis, CNN

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