Three boats crash in a tragic accident off the coast of Miami on Independence Day

Four people were killed when three boats

collided after a 4th July fireworks display near Dinner Key Marina in Miami.

Three of the casualties – Andrew Garcia,

23, Victoria Dempsey, 20, and 24-year old Kelsey Karpiak – were thrown into the

water when their Contender 32 drove into the side of a 36ft Carrera, killing

the fourth victim, 23-year-old Jason Soleimani from New York instantly, and

critically injuring two others.

The Contender then circled out of control

and collided with a Boston Whaler. In total, eight people were seriously

injured and 22 people were involved in the accident.

Multiple law enforcement officers rushed to

the scene when one of the boaters on the 36ft yacht raised the alarm at around

10:45pm local time.

“We kept getting report after report of

more people in the water,” Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll said during a

press briefing.

“There were people who were traumatised,

injured, confused,” said Carroll.

“We weren’t getting accurate counts of

people. We were trying to determine, did we have everybody? And then we found

out there was still a possibility two people were still missing.”

Garcia’s body was discovered in the early

hours by his father, Jack, who had continued the search for his son when the

official search party had returned home.

“I got there and my boy and the other girl

were still out there,” Jack Garcia told CBS4. “There was no effective search

going on, and I didn’t want to wait two or three days for my son’s body to

float up.”

Jorge Pino, a public information officer

with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Miami

that every year there was a “Mad dash” with boats crisscrossing over the


“Typically after the fireworks are over,

everyone makes a mad dash for the nearest marina… It’s not like we can have

someone out there directing traffic,” he said.

According to a report by, the

Miami authorities have discovered evidence of alcohol onboard the boat

responsible for the accident.

The investigation continues.