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Nearly 300 Attend Vigil For Duck Boat Accident Victims

Nearly 300 people gathered for a vigil at Mount Olive Baptist Church Monday night to remember nine members of an Indianapolis family killed in the Missouri duck boat accident. (Cora Butrum/WFYI)

Nearly 300 people gathered at an Indianapolis church Monday night to remember those lost in the duck boat accident near Branson, Missouri.

The service specifically honored the Colemans. Nine members of the Indianapolis family were among the 17 people killed last week when the amphibious tour boat they were on capsized and sank during a sudden storm.

Angela Coleman, 45; Arya Coleman, 1; Belinda Coleman, 69; Ervin Coleman, 76; Evan Coleman, 7; Glenn Coleman, 40; Horace Coleman, 70; Maxwell Coleman, 2; and Reece Coleman, 9, did not survive the accident.

Rev. Carl Z. Liggins, senior pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church, lead the prayer service and was accompanied by several other speakers. He asks people to continue to have hope for the future despite the tragedies of the present.

“Life is short. We don’t know what can happen from day to day, so we have to take the time to embrace and love the people that surround us because we just never know how limited time could be,” Liggins says.

Tia Coleman, who survived the accident that claimed her husband and three children along with her sister-in-law, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law and her husband’s uncle, attended the vigil. She wept as people sang and offered prayers for her and her family.

Quoting one of her favorite hymns, Patsy Newson, aunt of Tia Coleman, says she survives this tragedy by putting her faith in the Lord.

“There’s a quote, ‘In the midnight hour when nobody is around, just remember that you can lean on God, because he is the only one that will mend your broken heart,’” she says.

Patsy’s husband, Pastor Darryl Webster, says he finds comfort in community.

“You know often times we focus on petty things that divide us, but we all bleed one blood,” Webster says. “And certainly we’ve seen a great picture of love, from red, yellow, black, and white, and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he says.

A celebration of life for the Coleman family will take place Friday at the Grace Apostolic Church. The viewing will be from 9 a.m. to noon. A homecoming service will begin at noon.

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