Student injured in Seattle bus crash sues duck boat operator

SEATTLE (AP) — A 21-year-old college student who was injured in a deadly bus crash sued the operator of an amphibious vehicle and the company that refurbished the so-called duck boat.

Na Ra Yoon sued Monday in King County Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages against Ride the Ducks of Seattle; Ride the Ducks International, which refurbished the vehicle; and an unidentified driver.

Yoon, a student from South Korea, and others from North Seattle College were riding in a charter bus when the duck boat swerved into it on Sept. 24, killing five people. The complaint says she was knocked unconscious and suffered hand fractures.

Ride the Ducks International should have warned the Seattle franchise about dangerous flaws in the vehicle, said Yoon’s lawyer, Charles Hermann.

Federal investigators have said the duck boat involved in the crash did not have an axle repair that was recommended two years ago for such vehicles. Authorities are looking into whether axle failure caused the crash. The vehicle’s front left axle was found sheared off, but it’s not clear if it broke before the crash or during it.

Ride the Ducks International said in an emailed statement that it does not comment on legal matters and can’t discuss details because of the federal investigation.

“We are waiting for the outcome of the investigation from the various entities, including our own,” said Patricia Buchanan, attorney for Ride the Ducks of Seattle. “Until we have those findings, it would be premature for us to discuss pending litigation.”

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