FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — CBS2 has learned more about the 25-year-old man who died in a boating crash on Long Island on Saturday night.
On Sunday, Nassau County police continued to investigate what went wrong, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Jorge Soto joined friends for a day of boating, but was killed when the boat he was on was ripped in two.
With a half dozen roses in her hand Yanira Monge de Soto stood on the boardwalk in Freeport with a broken heart and torn soul.
“This is the worst pain I have ever felt,” she told CBS2’s Cory James through an interpreter. “He was my baby. He was my boy, and an irresponsible person took him away from me.”
Witnesses told police another boat plowed into it on Freeport Creek just off Cow Meadow Park. The crash also injured six other people, police said.
Among the injured is a woman who remains hospitalized and witnesses said she could lose a leg.
“It’s bound to happen. Not everybody abides by the rules,” boater Pat McBride said.
An experienced boater, McBride said the spot is popular with partiers who tie their boats together to socialize, often adding rafts.
“There’s a sign that’s posted up when you come around the bend over there. That’s all a 5 mph,” McBride said.
Although he didn’t see the early evening crash, he said he suspects a high rate of speed was involved.
When asked if the boat collision was a 5 mph crash, McBride said, “Absolutely not. Look at the condition of that boat. That’s no 5 mph crash.”
“The damage to the other boat was very significant. You could see that the boat that hit it, literally looked like it drove right through it. And that’s what put those civilians into the water,” said Raymond Maguire, executive director of the Freeport Fire Department.
James has learned from some that speeding is a constant problem in the area.
According to one local, residents recently sent letters to the Town of Hempstead with a request to fix the problem.
Hempstead officials have not said anything about the cause of the crash, only saying the investigation is ongoing.
Soto was a native of El Salvador who friends say moved from there to Freeport after high school. They also said he worked at an appliance store.
His parents are regular members of a church in Hempstead, where during Sunday afternoon services the congregation prayed for the family. Funeral services are expected to take place at the church, Carlin reported.
“It’s a tragedy because nobody is expecting that something like that happens,” family friend Joanne Gonzalez said.
Soto’s family is hoping to bury him in El Salvador. They have started a GoFundMe page to raise money for that.
As of Sunday night, no criminal charges were filed, Carlin reported.