Judge dismisses criminal counts in Missouri duck boat deaths

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FILE – In this July 23, 2018, file photo, a duck boat that sank in Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., is raised after it went down the evening of July 19 after a thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds. The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a virtual meeting Tuesday, April 27, 2020, to announce the results of an investigation into the tragedy that killed 17 of the 31 people on board. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File)

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed neglect and misconduct charges against three employees of a tourist boat that sank on a Missouri lake in 2018, killing 17 people.

U.S. District Judge Doug Harpool filed an order Wednesday upholding a recommendation made in September.

The boat captain, the general manager of the boat’s operator, and the manager on duty that day were charged with neglect and misconduct after the amphibious vehicle sank during a storm on Table Rock Lake near Branson.

The captain also was charged with failure to properly assess the weather and not telling passengers to use flotation devices.

Riders from Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Arkansas were killed.

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