One Indiana family’s vacation to Missouri has taken a tragic and deadly turn.
One of the survivors, Tia Coleman, told the news station that she is devastated and can’t imagine going home without her family.
“My heart is very heavy. Out of 11 of us, only two of us surviving – that’s me and my nephew,” said Coleman.
“I lost all of my [three] children. I lost my husband. I lost mother-in-law and my father-in-law. I lost my uncle. I lost my sister-in-law … and I lost my nephew.”
She claims that the captain of the boat told the family, they didn’t need to wear life jackets. He told them “you don’t need them,” she said.
Listening to that professional advice, none of the family members grabbed one while on the boat.
“However in doing that, when it was time to grab them, it was too late and I believe that a lot of people could have been spared,” Coleman stressed.
WGN reported that investigators believe that stormy weather contributed to the crash with thunderstorms bringing winds of 50 to 65 mph to the area. However, Coleman said that when they first got on the boat, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Later, the rain came and filled up the boat.
The boat was carrying a total of 31 people with only 14 surviving.
During a news conference held on Saturday, Coleman described what was going on in her mind when the boat started to sink.
“I said, ‘Lord, please, I’ve got to get to my babies. I’ve got to get to my babies,” she said.
One of her sons was sitting next to her.
“I felt like, if I was able to get a life jacket I could have saved my babies because they could have at least floated up to the top and somebody could have grabbed them. And I wasn’t able to do that.”
Coleman told reporters that she tried to escape, but she kept hitting the boat’s canopy. At the point she just let go and floated. Before she knew it, she ended up by the shore, where she remembers hands pulling her up.
“When they pulled me up in the boat, I didn’t see any of my family,” she said. “But I believe I survived by God.”
When asked was she happy she made it out, Coleman said she didn’t know yet.
“The only thing I can think of is that God must have something for me. There’s no way I should be here.”
Sending all of our prayers to this woman and her family. We can’t imagine this type of pain and loss.
Help support the Coleman family by contributing to a verified GoFundMe campaign here.