Ride the Ducks has been suspended from operating in Washington since a deadly September crash and state officials on Tuesday said an investigation is ongoing, with the suspension expected to continue through early next year.
A Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a Sept. 24 crash with a charter bus that killed five college students on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle.
A final report on the investigation into the Ride the Ducks operations by the Utilities and Transportation Commission is expected to be completed by Dec. 15. The commission will hold a hearing on the report in January or later, and the company will be given a chance to respond. The suspension of Ride the Ducks will remain in place until the UTC issues an order lifting it.
UTC’s David Pratt updated the commission on the investigation at a hearing in Olympia on Tuesday. He said interviews with Ride the Ducks staff have been completed, as well as physical inspections of 10 Ride the Duck vehicles. Inspections of the company’s “stretch” vehicles will be completed in mid-November.
The vehicle involved in the crash has been impounded by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own investigation. Pratt said the board is sharing records with the UTC.
A representative from Ride the Ducks said on Tuesday “urgency is a paramount concern” for the company. She said the company is concerned with getting its 130 employees back to work and putting the 10 inspected vehicles back on the road. The company is no longer planning to use the Aurora Bridge route in the future.
TVW taped Tuesday’s hearing — it will be posted online at this link.