Kenneth Scott McKee, 51, the captain of an amphibious duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last July, which resulted in the deaths of 17 people, was indicted last week by a federal jury.
The details of the indictment were reported in the New York Times.
In October, the owners of the companies that operated the Missouri duck boats cited an 1851 maritime law to claim that they owe no money to the families of the victims. Nine of the 17 victims were related.
Over the years, duck boats, which are modeled after amphibious trucks used in World War II, have had numerous fatal incidents around the country and their safety has been called into question.
In 1999, 13 people died aboard a duck boat that sank in Arkansas. In 2010, two people were killed when a duck boat lost power and was run over by a tug and barge on the Delaware River near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The boats have also been involved in fatal accidents on land. The tall vehicles have numerous blind spots that prevent the operators from seeing nearby traffic. In 2015 and 2016, duck boats were involved in the deaths of seven people, and caused injuries to dozens of others, while operating on the streets of Seattle, Boston and Philadelphia.