License of Duck Boat operator revoked following fatal crash

The RMV has revoked the license of a Duck Boat operator who was involved in a deadly crash over the weekend.

"This was done as part of a standard suspension action that the RMV invokes when there is a fatality," the Department of Transportation said Monday afternoon.

Victor Tavares has a lengthy driving violation record, going back 15 years, according to the DOT. RMV records show that Tavares has been cited for speeding three times since 2010. Before that, he had a number of violations, accidents and suspensions.

In a statement, Duck Boat Tours says Tavares’ driving record was recently reviewed in March when his license was renewed. "Given the discrepancies between the information we received from the DMV and the information reported, we will be contacting the respective agencies tomorrow and we will provide any updated information."

Allison Warmuth, 29, was killed when the scooter she was driving collided with a duck boat at the intersection of Charles and Beacon streets on Saturday. Her friend, the passenger on the scooter, was injured but is expected to be OK.

Philadelphia lawyer Robert Mogeluzzi has represented several victims who were killed in duck boat accidents in other cities. He wants the duck boats banned, calling them "death traps." Mogeluzzi said the vehicles are also old and unsafe.

"It would be no different than if people started driving tanks down the street and then wondering why pedestrians are being run over or cars getting crushed," said Mogeluzzi.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the crash is under investigation but he is not ready to say that duck boats should be put in park.

The company that operates Duck Boat Tours in Boston released a statement Monday saying their drivers undergo rigorous training that lasts at least two months. "For 22 years, the people of Boston have accepted Boston Duck Tours as part of the community. We value this unique relationship and take safety very seriously."

Full statement from Duck Boat Tours:

 "For 22 years, the people of Boston have accepted Boston Duck Tours as part of the community. We value this unique relationship and take safety very seriously. Since 1994 we have carried over 10,000,000 guests. Our ConDUCKtors go through a rigorous training period of 8-10 weeks where they focus on the operation of our vehicles (both on land and on water) and safety procedures. They must hold a Class B Commercial Drivers License with a passenger endorsement, a Boston Police Hackney Sightseeing license, a Cambridge Jitney license, a United States Coast Guard license and must be trained in first aid and CPR. Consistent with DOT regulations, all ConDUCKtors are enrolled in a random drug testing program. We have a full-time Safety Specialist on staff to oversee safety and licensing, and we have extensive safety procedures and protocols. Our vehicles are inspected by both the US Coast Guard and the Department of Public Utilities annually. Our ConDUCKtors and staff of 18 full-time mechanics inspect the vehicles daily. Safety has always been our number one priority."

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