Celebration Of Life Set For Victim Of July 4th Boating Accident
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Friends and family are set to gather to celebrate the life of one of the victims killed in a July 4th boating accident off Dinner Key Marina.
Victoria “Tori” Dempsey’s funeral will be held Fridat at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church at 14401 Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay starting at 5:00 p.m.
Those who attend are encouraged to wear flip-flops in honor of Dempsey.
Her celebration of life comes just a day after another family paid their respects to victim, Andrew Garcia who also died in the accident.
The funeral was held for Garcia, 23, Thursday evening at the same location as Dempsey’s celebration of life.
Investigators said Garcia was driving a Contender Friday night. Shortly after the fireworks were over, as boats were coming in, Garcia’s boat collided with a Carrera with the Hanono Family on board off Dinner Key Marina. A third boat was also hit. One person on that boat suffered minor injuries.
In total there were 22 people involved in the accident. Four people were killed and seven were injured.
Garcia, Dempsey and Kelsey Karpiak, 24, who were in the Contender that hit the 36-foot Carrera, died in the accident.
The boyfriend of 22-year-old Heather Hanono, Jason Soleimani, 23, of Old Westbury, New York, was killed on the family’s boat. Soleimani was the first of the four victims to be buried in New York earlier this week.
Garcia’s father, Former Miami-Dade fire boat captain Jack Garcia, has been a vocal critic against taking fireboats out of service, now after the incident, is demanding their reinstatement.
The fireboats have been out of service since 2011 due to county budget cuts. And though Miami’s fireboats were on scene, Garcia and the union leaders argue more could have been done to save the four people who died if the county’s fire boat was operational.
Plans for a viewing and funeral are set for Karpiak, also on Garcia’s boat, at Stanfill Funeral home Saturday followed by Christ Journey Church in Coral Gables at 12:30 PM.