Amphibious Tourist Boat Hits, Kills Woman Crossing Philly Street
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A Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle struck and killed a woman crossing the street in Philadelphia’s Chinatown Friday afternoon, NBC 10 reported.
The boat, which takes tourists on a land and sea sightseeing tour of the city, was full of passengers, including children, when the tragic event occurred.
Police told NBC 10 that the Ducks boat had the green light, and according to witnesses the woman, a tourist from Texas, was distracted by a mobile device as she crossed the street.
"She was looking at her iPad while crossing the street," said one unidentified woman who witnessed the incident to NBC 10. "She got clipped by the duck boat originally and instead of stepping back, she held out her hand as if to say stop."
Joseph Kist, another witness, said to NBC 10 that the woman had her back to the vehicle when she was hit. "She didn't know what was coming by," he said.
The 68-year-old Texan died of “massive head injuries” according to NBC 10. After the accident, the Duck boat passengers we forced to wait in the vehicle almost an hour next to the woman’s body, covered in a bright yellow tarp.
This isn’t the first fatal incident for Ride the Ducks. In 2010, two Hungarian students were killed when a stalled Duck boat in the Delaware River was run down by a barge.
Attorney Bob Mongeluzzi, representative of the victims and their families in the resulting trial from this accident, said to NBC 10 that the design of the boat makes land driving a challenge. "The design of the duck boat itself makes it extremely difficult to operate on land because it is cumbersome and the visibility for the operator is hampered because he has a large bow of the boat extended in front of him," he said.
In a statement, Ride the Ducks said, "We will provide counseling for those affected by the accident and offer support wherever possible."
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