MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite this rain, people continue passing by Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez’s home to leave flowers and balloons –some saying they can’t believe he is gone.
Family members and friends gathered outside the home, and then left with a police escort.
As this makeshift memorial grows, there’s a somber sight in Government Cut. There are still white paint marks on the rocky jetty where Fernandez’s boat crashed early Sunday.
The 24-year-old Marlins ace died along with his friends, 27-year-old Emilio Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the crash which took place shortly after he left the Miami River restaurant American Social Bar and Kitchen. A statement from management confirms he was there before the accident but did not say whether he had been drinking or what time he left.
Fernandez and his friends were on his 32-foot boat named “Kaught Looking.” Miami-Dade County prosecutors have obtained search warrants for wildlife commission investigators seeking access to the vessel, said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the state attorney’s office.
“As you know, FWC has a duty to investigate fatal boating accidents like this one,” Griffith said in an email. “Since the incident involved a single boat and there were no survivors, there can be no criminal prosecution derived from the FWC investigation.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Rob Klepper said FWC has no record of any previous citation or warning involving the boat, Fernandez or the other two men who died. Normally vessel stops are not documented unless a warning or citation is issued, he added.
The Miami-Dade County medical examiner has not yet released toxicology results that might determine if Fernandez or the other two victims were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Klepper said that report would be part of the wildlife commission’s completed investigation. Authorities previously said no evidence of alcohol or drugs was found at the crash scene.
On Capitol Hill, Florida’s U.S. senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, introduced a resolution Tuesday honoring Fernandez for his journey from communist Cuba to Major League Baseball stardom and his contributions to the community.
“Everywhere you go in Miami the past 48 hours it’s all anyone can talk about,” Rubio said.
The resolution notes that Fernandez was jailed in Cuba after an unsuccessful attempt to defect and once saved his mother from drowning after she fell from a boat off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
“He risked his life escaping tyranny in Cuba to seek liberty and opportunity in America,” Rubio, also a Cuban-American, said in a news release. “His impact goes far beyond what was your star baseball player. And you ask yourself, why this man, who had been with us just a brief moment, led to such an outpouring of grief from a community?”
A funeral procession and public viewing for Fernandez will take place Wednesday for fans who want to pay their final respects.
Fans are invited to gather at the West Plaza at Marlins Park for his final departure. Fans will have complimentary access to park in a surface lot on the West side of the ballpark. The procession will depart at 2:16 p.m. and travel to Ermita de la Caridad (Shrine of Our Lady of Charity) located at 3609 South Miami Avenue for a blessing.
The procession will then travel to St. Brendan Catholic Church at 8725 SW 32nd Street in Miami where a public visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Fernandez’s loved ones arrived at Caballero Rivero Funeral Home for what CBS4’s Oralia Ortega was told was a private viewing ahead of Wednesday’s public viewing.
A private funeral for Fernandez will be held Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, the Fernandez family requests charitable contributions to the JDF16 Foundation at the Miami Foundation.
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