4th of July

Boat Involved in Fatal Crash Being Released to Victim's Family

A Miami father will soon be able to honor the memory of his son, who died in a tragic boating accident.

Joaquin Garcia's boat, which was involved in a fatal crash, has been kept in evidence. His 23-year-old son, Andrew Garcia, was one of four people killed when three boats crashed at Dinner Key as they were coming back to shore last year.

Victoria Dempsey, Kelsie Karpiak and Jason Soleimani also died that 4th of July night.

"I want my boat back so I can carry my son's ashes out and lay him to rest," Joaquin said. "The judge has granted that, so to that extent, I'm real grateful."

But the misdemeanor case, which was scheduled to go to trial on Wednesday, got delayed.

"I'm disappointed that it continues," Joaquin said.

There was no plea offer from prosecutors and the defense attorney has to yet interview 117 witnesses.

"Everyone wants to put this behind them. This was a horrible accident and unfortunately, bad things happen to good people and we want to wrap this up and put it behind everyone involved," said Defense Attorney Scott Bennett.

Elias Hanono faces two counts of violation of boating safety rules. He was in court Wednesday. Prosecutors didn't pursue criminal charges because they couldn't prove he acted in a reckless manner.

The trial will start on Sept. 30. The defendant faces a fine and will have to take boating safety classes if convicted.

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