Wrongful Death Case to Begin Over Duck Boat Crash

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The Associated Press<br>
An amphibious craft is salvaged from the Delaware River in Philadelphia on July 9, 2010. A tug boat pilot who was consumed by a family emergency when the barge he was steering crashed into a stalled duck boat filled with tourists, killing two Hungarian students, pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter.

The Associated Press
An amphibious craft is salvaged from the Delaware River in Philadelphia on July 9, 2010. A tug boat pilot who was consumed by a family emergency when the barge he was steering crashed into a stalled duck boat filled with tourists, killing two Hungarian students, pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter.

A federal wrongful death trial is set to begin over the 2010 deaths of two Hungarian students killed when a tugboat-guided barge slammed into their sightseeing boat on Philadelphia's Delaware River.

A judge on Monday will consider a request by tug operator K-Sea Transportation and duck boat operator Ride the Ducks to limit their liability in the case to about $1.8 million -- the combined value of the two vessels.

Twenty-year-old Szabolcs Prem and 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner died when the 250-foot barge ran over the 33-foot duck boat. Thirty-five others were rescued.

The tug boat's pilot was sentenced in November to a year in prison after pleading guilty to the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors said he was on his cellphone amid a family emergency.


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