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Should Boston’s Duck Boats Be Banned?

In the wake of a tragic accident this past weekend, there has been a renewed call for a nationwide ban of duck boats. The amphibious vehicles have become an almost iconic part of the city of Boston. Duck boats are hard to miss as they transport loads of tourists past the city’s many attractions, on land and water. A rise in deadly accidents has people questioning their safety. Contact a Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Today.

The Victim Was Wearing a Helmet

The most recent accident occurred last Saturday, when a duck boat called the Penelope Pru collided with a scooter near Beacon Hill. The massive vehicle was stopped at a Charles Street stop light, directly behind a 29-year-old Beacon Hill woman and her male passenger. When the light turned green, the duck boat – apparently not seeing the scooter in its path, overtook the smaller vehicle, knocking it on its side and running over the scooter and its operator, Alison Warmuth. Witnesses shouted, trying to alert the duck boat driver, but he did not hear. One of the witnesses ran to Warmuth’s side, trying to help the injured woman, but it was too late. She attempted to speak but could not. Although Warmuth was not bleeding, witnesses say her body looked like a ‘rag doll’. Both she and her male passenger were wearing helmets.

Warmuth died shortly after the accident. Her passenger was not seriously injured.

Four Deadly Duck Boat Accidents Since 2010

This weekend’s accident was not the first of its kind. In 2010, a Philadelphia-based duck boat, ‘Ride the Ducks’, was struck by a barge, killing two tourists on board. In 2015, a Texas woman was struck and killed by a duck boat, also from a ‘Ride the Ducks’ tour while crossing a Philadelphia street. And in 2015, a Seattle duck boat struck a charter bus, killing five people.

Last weekend’s tragic accident is, however, the first deadly accident for Boston Duck Tours. The company has been in business since 1994. Although the recent surge in deadly accidents has sparked some controversy, some people want the duck boats to stay. “I think they are iconic and a great part of the city,” said Rockport’s Andrea Vinson. “It’s just so much fun to go through the city and then go right into the Charles in a vehicle… It doesn’t get more fun than that.”

Critics say that duck boats, which were designed for warfare during WW2, have no business being on streets with cars and pedestrians. Boston Duck Tours’ CEO is waiting to comment until further details come to light.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas

For more than 50 years, Altman & Altman, LLP has been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims in and around Boston. If you have been injured in any type of accident, our personal injury team can help. We will analyze the details of your case before moving forward with a legal strategy. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.