Woman killed in duck boat crash was ‘incredible person’
Allison Warmuth loved her red moped. It was her favorite way to get around Boston, and she had only recently gotten it out of the shop when she picked a friend up for brunch Saturday morning — eager to take a ride and enjoy the spring weather.
Her parents had worried about Warmuth’s safety on the small vehicle amid the city’s hectic traffic and had even given her a bright yellow biking jacket to increase her visibility. Now loved ones are wondering whether the garment could have prevented the crash that claimed her life.
“If she had that coat on she might still be with us,” her mother, Martha, said Sunday, a day after a duck boat ran over Allison’s moped near her Beacon Hill home, killing the 28-year-old insurance underwriter.
“Her personality just brought such light and grace into the room,” said her father, Ivan. “You just felt good to be around her. She brought happiness everywhere she went.”
Martha and Ivan Warmuth said in a telephone interview Sunday that their daughter was an adventurer who enjoyed running, skiing, and golfing. She was preparing for a sprint triathlon, and she knitted in what remained of her spare time.
The victim’s parents spoke as Boston police continued to investigate the crash, which happened around 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Beacon and Charles streets. Her friend, a 32-year-old man, was not seriously injured. The duck boat driver has not been charged.
Police have not identified any of the people involved in the crash, but Warmuth’s parents confirmed that she was the victim.
“We were in shock,” Ivan Warmuth said. The parents are wondering how the amphibious vehicle’s driver could have failed to see his daughter. “We have all kinds of questions about what happened.”
One of three daughters, Warmuth moved to Boston about five years ago after she landed a job with Lexington Insurance Company, where she was a senior underwriter for hospitals and large medical practices, her father said.
She started the job at 22 after she completed an internship during her junior year at Messiah College, a Christian school in Pennsylvania. At work, she traveled to various facilities and wrote multimillion-dollar policies for hospitals, Ivan Warmuth said.
“She thought she had one of the greatest jobs in the world,” he added. “She felt like she was in a field that was an unknown gem.”
A spokesman for Lexington’s parent company, American International Group, said in a statement that the company’s “thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Allison’s family and all who were closest to her.”
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague,’’ the statement said.
While juggling work, Warmuth studied for her business school entrance exams and took them a month ago, her parents said. She celebrated the achievement with a dinner at Per Se, an upscale New American and French restaurant in New York City.
Warmuth had planned to apply to business schools and was set to accept a promotion with Lexington in Chicago, her parents said.
Martha Warmuth said she had recently sent Allison a message that said: “I’m so proud of you.
“She was an incredible person,” she said. “She could do just about anything. I would think, ‘that’s impossible’ and she would accomplish it. She was really determined.”
Born and raised in Ohio, she also lived in Quebec City and Plattsburgh, N.Y.
She grew up cliff jumping in the Adirondack Mountains, her father said. And in 2014 for his 60th birthday, he and his daughter went skydiving at Jumptown in Orange.
Martha Warmuth said her daughter had also dreamed of becoming a contestant on a “Survivor”-style reality show.
“She was an amazing daughter,” Ivan Warmuth said, his voice cracking during a phone call from Hawaii, where he and Martha had been visiting. The couple live in Plattsburgh.
Allison also volunteered at the Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter for women and children in the Back Bay.
“She would do everything,” said Damien Yee, who volunteered with her. He stopped by the scene of the fatal crash Sunday where friends left a box of flowers in her memory. “She inspired me to volunteer. Her presence was awesome. I looked forward to seeing her every weekend.”
“She was kind, intelligent, fun, and sweet,” said Sarah Hopkins, who met Warmuth at AIG. “She was successful in her career and charitable in her personal life. She had a love for life and her friends and family and was the epitome of being beautiful inside and out.”
Martha Warmuth said her youngest daughter goes to school in the Boston area and had been planning to join Allison Warmuth for dinner Saturday. Instead, she spent the day by her sister’s bedside.
Allison’s parents are now planning to return from Hawaii. They are hoping to have answers soon about what went wrong.
The duck boat Penelope Pru was stopped at a red light on Charles Street waiting to turn onto Beacon Hill with as many as 28 passengers on board. Witnesses told the Globe Saturday that Allison Warmuth tried to accelerate when the duck boat began moving behind her.
People shouted for the duck boat driver to stop, but when it finally did it was too late.
Warmuth and her friend both had helmets at the time of the crash, police said. The duck boat driver and passengers were questioned by police.
Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office, said in a statement Sunday that “all factors, including visibility, are under investigation by collision reconstruction experts.”
As the investigation continues, heartbroken family members are remembering Allison Warmuth’s spirit of kindness and optimism.
“She really was genuinely a nice person,” Martha Warmuth said. “She was so positive . . . she could take a really bad situation and look at the bright side of it.”