The family of a woman killed in the Ride the Ducks crash in 2015 filed a wrongful death suit Tuesday against the Georgia-based company, its driver, the vehicle manufacturer, City of Seattle, and state.
Mami Sato, 36, was one of five people killed Sept. 24 when the amphibious tour vehicle owned by Ride the Ducks collided with a coach bus on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. Along with those killed, dozens more were injured.
Sato was traveling with fellow students and school staff from North Seattle Community College in the coach bus to Safeco Field.
“Mami had just come to Seattle from Japan and was a student at North Seattle Community College to further her English studies. She was only in the country four days before her life was cut short by this preventable tragedy,” said attorney Cheryl Snow, of the Law Offices of James S. Rogers in Seattle. “These military-grade vehicles are dangerous and should not be driven on the streets alongside civilian passenger vehicles.”
An investigation found the Ducks vehicle wasn’t properly maintained. The company was fined for more than 400 violations.
Sato’s family argues the city, state, and company knew the route over the bridge was not safe for the amphibious vehicles. Government officials failed to implement safety measures that would have helped avoid the tragedy, the lawsuit states.
This isn’t the first lawsuit to be brought against the company, city, and state this year. Another suit was filed in April. Attorneys for the mother and the estate of 17-year-old Runjie Song, a Chinese exchange student, filed in King County Superior Court.
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