March 29, 2016
Last September's crash of a Ride the Ducks amphibious tour boat and a bus loaded with college students on the Aurora bridge killed five and injured more than 60 others.
On Friday, Ride the Ducks opened its garage up so about 30 attorneys, their hired experts along with government officials could study vehicles with a similar mechanical configuration.
"Providing full access to these vehicles underscores our commitment to transparency and accessibility in working with other stakeholders in the legal process." said Pat Buchanan, the attorney for "Ride the Ducks."
"So you look at other vehicles to see if there's something that's in common, that can point to what went wrong." says Attorney Karen Koehler, attorney for 12 of the victims.
Not all of the Ducks are the same. Ten of the ducks, so called "truck ducks" have a different mechanical set up than the "stretch ducks" like the one involved in the crash.
After its investigation following the accident, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission allowed the "truck ducks" back on the road in mid January. But the eight remaining "stretch ducks" are in pieces in the garage as the legal discovery process continues.
The WUTC says while it only found two "stretch ducks" with grease and oil leaks and a duck with inoperable brake lights during its investigation, the agency won't allow them back on the road until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its report and the Commission approves their return.
Koehler says based on what she and her team saw on Friday, she believes there is more to it.
"We found a commonality that indicated to us that there was a manufacturing problem and a maintenance problem," said Koehler.