Jason Soleimani of Old Westbury among 4 killed in July Fourth Miami boat collision
An Old Westbury man visiting his girlfriend in Florida for the Fourth of July holiday was killed Friday after the boat he was sitting in was rammed by another, Florida authorities said.
Jason Soleimani, 23, was one of four people killed in the 10:45 p.m. collision, in which a 32-foot-long boat holding five people crashed into the boat carrying Soleimani and then a third vessel as holiday fireworks ended in Miami. Soleimani was killed on impact, the Miami Herald reported. Eight people were injured, authorities said.
A man who answered the phone Sunday at Soleimani's family home in Old Westbury said the family did not have an immediate comment.
Meanwhile, a funeral service for Soleimani was scheduled for Monday at Riverside-Nassau North Chapels in Great Neck, with burial to follow at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing.
Heather Hanono, who identified herself as Soleimani's girlfriend, told the Miami Herald that she was sitting with Soleimani in her family's boat when her brother spotted another boat headed straight for them.
The impact was strong enough to tear a hole in the side of the vessel carrying Soleimani and Hanono, according to authorities.
With no one at the helm after the operator of the boat that hit Soleimani's craft was thrown overboard, the boat circled in the dark, crashing into a third vessel before a commercial salvage crew was able to pull up alongside it, jump aboard and bring it to a stop. Capt. Burt Korpela of Atlantis Marine Towing and Salvage said, "The boat was running out of control in circles 20 to 25 miles per hour, limited lights on the boat."
When the waters calmed, rescuers struggled through the dark to piece together a devastating toll: four dead, eight injured, officials said.