After Four Die in Dinner Key Boating Accident, New Details Follow

Categories: News

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More than 48 hours after four people were killed and several others injured in a gruesome boat collision near Dinner Key, authorities are still working to determine details of the crash.

"Now it's just a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino told Riptide Sunday evening. "We have to take the physical evidence and combine that with the electronic evidence that we have, which includes GPS position [and] speed."

What is known is that around 10:40 p.m. Friday, a boat carrying five people, at least four of whom were under 25, collided with another vessel, carrying eight, about three miles south of the Rickenbacker Causeway. Jason Soleimani, 23, died instantly from the impact; Kelsie Karpiak, 24, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Jackson Memorial Hospital; and two others, Andrew Garcia, 23, and Victoria Dempsey, 20, were missing Friday night and recovered dead from the water Saturday. Soleimani was on board the second boat and a was resident of Old Westbury, New York; Karpiak, Garcia, and Dempsey -- all Miami residents -- were aboard the first boat, a 2003 32-foot Contender.

As of Sunday, Catherine Payan, also 24 and a passenger on the first boat, was in critical condition at Jackson Memorial, and the boat's fifth passenger, Samantha Rolth, was recovering from head injuries at Kendall Regional. Dayanara Arias, 39 and a passenger on the second boat, was also critically injured and is recovering at Jackson Memorial. Three other passengers from the second boat -- Lynda, Heather, and Shawn Hanono -- were listed in stable condition at Mercy Hospital.

After colliding with the second vessel, the first boat lost control and hit a third vessel, carrying nine people. Eight of the nine were uninjured; one woman, 49-year-old Cynthia Panagua, suffered a thigh laceration. All the boats were on their way back to the marina after the conclusion of Friday night's fireworks. On Saturday a local sea tow captain, Burt Korpela of Atlantis Marine Towing and Salvage, described to CBS 4 a chaotic scene where the first boat continued in motion after the collision with two unconscious people on board.

"The boat was running out of control in circles 20 to 25 miles per hour," Korpela said. "You've got to jump from one boat to another. It's just the most extreme you can do."

Authorities are calling the crash the deadliest local boating accident in recent memory.

"I've been doing law enforcement for 25 years; I've never seen anything like that," Pino said. "To have four people die as a result of a single accident is pretty devastating."

In 2013 the FWC tallied 62 boating fatalities in Florida -- the highest in the nation -- and four in Miami-Dade. The county also registered 50 injuries, the highest in the state.

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61 comments
louisperez222
louisperez222

An individual who owns a 28' boat just informed me that there is no "right of way" when boating. ....

!!!!!!!SCARRY!!!!!!!

louisperez222
louisperez222

How would you Boaters out there feel about a White STROBE LIGHT added to the Navigation Lights- similar to airplane required lighting?

I use it on my boat at night regardless of regulations. Similar to what people do when driving with flashers in the rain.

It's incredible how hard it is to discern a boat from a lighted coastline.

I think that would help save lives!

Accidentally
Accidentally

The larger the boats the bigger the idiots.. All 3 boats, each worth well over $100k, being driven by someone who wasn't watching what was going on... Been out there for this.. You should be going slow and someone should be using the spotlight, and looking at the radar if you ahve one.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

Miami is not the same. Too many Butt holes who kick the tires & light the fires! This was no accident. It happened because of a inconsiderate, ,joy riding, stupid BUTT HOLE who could not obey the right of way on the water. Plain & simple. Better believe it, Oh yes there is blame for the loss of life. No one is safe anymore. Just like 836 full of Butt holes!

Matthew Barrett Carpenter
Matthew Barrett Carpenter

Show some respect.... if u want to voice an opinion then do so elsewhere... this is a tragedy. Not a forum to place blame and discuss laws...pls for the families involved

Riain Suibhne
Riain Suibhne

More laws! Laws are the answer! If only big brother was constantly watching everyone we could have saved this small number of people. Why won't someone hear our pleas for a police state and give us the endless jack - booted surveillance we all crave?!

Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes
Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes

Tony Castaneira dont be a douche ... this is a whole different spectrum. I mean, just look at DJ Laz ... #duh

Tony Castaneira
Tony Castaneira

Aditza 'Dizzy' Reyes Yea because we all saw how driver's license have all but stopped traffic accidents.

Luci Area Aran
Luci Area Aran

We need stricter boating laws, more policing of the waters and lots of rules and regulations. This situation is out if control!!

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

If the boat was circling at 20-25 mph, that's planing speed, probably what you would tow a water skier behind ?

Matthew Barrett Carpenter
Matthew Barrett Carpenter

My god I didnt know what happened.... may all the families feel the embrace of love in this tough time.... CJ Karpiak... im so very sorry for yalls loss... you have our love and prayers from my family here in orlando rip...

Dirk DeSouza
Dirk DeSouza

Liz, it goes without saying that the accident was terrible and tragic, but I will never apologize for making a social observation regarding the city that never stops partying, and that includes fireworks display parties in the bay. I suggest you re-read my comment in context and stop calling me names. It's a waste of your precious time.

Crystal Bahr
Crystal Bahr

Sasha Gutierrez i think this is what you sister was talking about

Liz Wyroba
Liz Wyroba

Dirk DeSouza, Beth Cathleen Williams, Danielle DeCola Shub... Instead of criticizing Miami and stereotyping, try and have a heart. 4 young lives were taken and the whole community is devastated. Grow up or shut up.

Andy Solares
Andy Solares

Just because you can afford a 40' hydrosports with four engines doesn't mean the know to how operate it. To many people on the water with no clue on right of way, navigation, running lights, markers, identifying water depth by its colors etc. All you need to drive a boat is an automobile license. Which makes no sense since they are two very different things. a boat doesn't have brakes!. How many more people have to die before the state implements a mandatory boaters education course? If you hav nothing to do on a sunday afternoon go take a cooler of beer to your nearest boat ramp and enjoy the show

Melissa Marquez
Melissa Marquez

My prayers go out to the families who had lost a loved one so terrible god bless

James Fleming
James Fleming

Hopefully long overdue boating regulations can be implemented!

major2829
major2829

Seriously? You want people to take you seriously when you use the phrase "butt holes?" No wonder people think Miami is full of idiots.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Yes it is.

The New times is a Newspaper. 

This forum exists to voice an opinion.  It doesn't exist to appease your sensibilities or to make you feel good about yourself.

The fact is someone or many people out there that night acted more than irresponsibly which led to many deaths.

To show them compassion or empathy would be an insult to the victims.


miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

We will voice our opinions right flucking here and if you dont like it you can kick rocks. 

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

DJ Laz should be in jail for at the very least manslaughter.  The fact that he isn't proves that more laws are not only useless but actually hinder the responsible.

major2829
major2829

Metro-Dade dismantled their boating program because of no more funding. Ironically, Mr. Garcia, the father of one of the men killed, was the head of the boating program. He went out on his own boat Friday night and Saturday morning to look for his son's body.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

" the whole community is devastated"

We are?  I never got that memo.  

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

Id love to hear how mandatory anything will prevent people from acting like assholes please.   Alcohol was most likely involved and a license and/or more regulations wouldnt have prevented this tragedy.    Buffoons are going to be buffoons

major2829
major2829

Considering the person who was most likely driving Boat 1 had all of those requirements and more.....next comment?

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

Yea,

Because look how Driver's Liscensing has ended traffic accidents.

How Gun control has taken guns away from criminals.

How the Police never abuse their badge.

Seriously.....Did you even stop and think for a moment before posting that comment?

louisperez222
louisperez222

I know...

I'm not the only one using Flashers on during impaired visibility, those others that know it helps be seen are using them as well.

like the saying goes; I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. If something works popular vote should allow change, instead of just interest groups of the very wealthy

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

It takes an inconsiderate a hole to be as wreck less as the driver was Patricia is being polite

major2829
major2829

Like omg. Are you the Pope? The voice for "victims" everywhere?

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@major2829 

So the son of one of those who thinks that More Laws are the answer was one of those Killed?

Irony?  Anyone? Of course Not! Nanny Staters don't believe that things like Irony and Logic exist.

major2829
major2829

I wouldn't expect you too...

You appear to be the type of person who has zero empathy for most and think everyone is to blame for their own demise. So people like you, will never, "get the memo." Their friends, their family, the people of Palmetto Bay, Metro-Dade Fire Rescue, and everyone else who cares, it is devastating. Hopefully, something like this never effects yo

ajsolares
ajsolares

@major2829 Apparently not since he crashed into another boat at a high speed Maybe a useful floodlight would of helped? The contender had a radar. Radar helps with nightly navigation did he know how to use it? Next comment


major2829
major2829

Ummm, who said anything about needing "more laws?"

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@major2829
You are right.

I have zero empathy for people who knowingly act irresponsibly.   Perhaps if they had less enablers, like you, in their lives they wouldn't be a big ticket weekend for the local funeral parlors.


May I ask how you came to be the spokesperson for everyone in Palmetto Bay and Metro-Dade Fire Rescue? 

major2829
major2829

He had has Captain's License and has been driving boats since he was a kid. His father was the head of the boating marine program for Metro Dade Fire Rescue until it was gut down a year or so ago. Nobody had the facts yet.

aemast2
aemast2

@Anthonyvop1 @major2829 umm..Jason Soleimani was on a completely different boat with his family.  So he made no irresponsible act.  If you are going to say inconsiderate things about the situation, at least don't lump all parties into one "irresponsible" group.

major2829
major2829

You must have more information than the rest of us because last I heard, no details were released.

Perhaps you should share your wealth of inside information with the rest of the general public so we can all discuss how irresponsible 22 year olds are...shocker. My point was its not time to blame...Would it be a surprise if alcohol was involved? Not really, but that is everywhere. Could have been human error or a mechanical problem with the boat. Nobody knows yet.

major2829
major2829

Why, yes, that is exactly what I said.

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