Good Samaritan tried rescuing teen killed in SPI Jet Ski crash
Mon, 30 Apr 2012 02:15:02 GMT —
The sounds and images from a fatal Jet Ski crash on Saturday keep replaying inside Jose Luis Ramirez' mind.
"You ever hear when people have the Styrofoam cups upside down, and you just slam it into the table? That's what it sounded like," he recalled. "I looked back, I heard a kid yell help, somebody help my brother."
That evening, Ramirez, a Jet Ski instructor at a neighboring rental facility, was wrapping up his day when he noticed two brothers riding a jet ski, and crash into a boat in the Laguna Madre.
"I grabbed my Jet Ski, he said. His older brother couldn't help me out so I had to drag him on to my Jet Ski.
It was only, I want to say 4 to 500 yards out, so I made it back here in like 2 minutes."
But it was too late.
The 13-year-old he tried to rescue was pronounced dead on the scene.
His 17-year-brother was rushed to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Brownsville with minor injuries.
South Padre Island Police Chief Randy Smith said the boy's father witnessed the crash on board another Jet Ski.
The mother was notified moments later.
"It's just so sad when these events happen like this," he lamented. As you would imagine they're taking it very hard."
Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens said the Jet Ski both teens were riding was rented out to an adult.
They are looking into how it ended up in the teens' hands.
"I tried to save his life, I really did, Ramirez concluded. So much people can do at such short notice."
As an instructor, the crash reminds him the most important lesson is safety first.
Texas Parks and Wildlife investigators said they will not release the 13-year-old's identity, but added that his 17 year old brother was released from the hospital a few hours after the crash.
Under Texas law, anyone born after September 1, 1993 is required to take a boat safety course before operating any motorized watercraft.
Investigators said that was not the case with the two teens.
Since it is a violation of the law, they added that the adults the rented jet skis were signed out could be cited, but it is unclear if they will pursue it.