What began as a selfless act to help a struggling group of boaters turned tragic for one South Florida man this weekend. Ernesto Hernandez, only 23 years old, was killed on Sunday while trying to aid local Miami celebrity DJ Laz, whose vessel became stuck on a sandbar on Nixon Island. According to police, Hernandez, a bodyguard, was one of three people who tried to help push the 40-foot pleasure boat back out to sea when he was fatally struck by the vessel’s propellers.
Jorge Pino, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), explained Hernandez sustained severe injuries to his entire torso. The victim was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital via helicopter, but later died from his wounds.
Authorities are investigating the boating accident but we have yet to learn whether negligence was involved in the tragedy. If so, criminal charges could be filed, especially if anyone operating the vessel was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
We don’t know yet who the owner of the vessel is, but what we do know is that DJ Laz, whose real name is Lazaro Mendez, was in control of the boat at some point. Though everyone at the scene of the accident should have been issued a breath or blood test to determine if anyone was intoxicated, it appears as though this critical step was not taken.