Federal investigators are looking for home and surveillance video of a Coast Guard boat that struck a boat during a Christmas parade in San Diego Bay, killing an 8-year-old boy.
Anthony Cole DeWeese, 8, was on board a 26-foot Sea Ray with family getting ready to watch dozens of boats participate in the second weekend of the Parade of Lights. The annual event draws thousands to the edges of San Diego Bay.
The U.S. Coast Guard said one of its boats was responding to a report of a grounded vessel around 6 p.m. when it collided with the boat carrying DeWeese and 12 other people. Neither boat was participating in the parade according to a parade spokesman.
Alan DeWeese, 44, of San Diego said he tried to get out of the way of the Coast Guard boat he estimated was traveling between 30 to 40 knots. DeWeese believes he was moving at 2 to 3 knots.
"I thought he was going to turn at some point," DeWeese said. "He came up so fast I didn't have time to react."
"The harsh sound of the collision could be heard clear across the bay over the parade boats blowing horns and playing Christmas music," witness Roger Parrish wrote in an e-mail sent to NBCSanDiego.
Anthony Cole DeWeese was first taken to Harbor Island where paramedics tried to revive him. He was later pronounced dead at UCSD Hospital.
Five people on the recreational boat received “major traumas.” Two other children were taken to Rady Children's Hospital, and three adults were transported to University of California, San Diego Medical Center, according to fire department spokesperson Maurice Luque.
Authorities have not said how the accident occurred, but it came just after sundown in clear weather with light winds. A Coast Guard spokesperson said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be conducting an independent investigation.
NTSB investigators to San Diego will question witnesses and collect electronic data looking for routes and speeds of the boats involved in the crash.
Gathering of evidence normally takes three to seven days. The investigation could take 12 to 18 months.
According to coaches at San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa, Anthony DeWeese loved to play hockey. "He would come here three or four times a week to practice with the youth team,"said Coach Craig Sterling.
Valerie Andreassi's son played hockey with Anthony. She said telling him about Anthony's death was gut wrenching.
"My son just asked if he was no more, and I said that's right you won't won't see him at the rink anymore,"Andreassi said with tears in her eyes.
Anthony's father is an assistant coach on the team. Other coaches said you would see the pride in his eyes when he watched his son play.
"He was starting to become a real good goalie,"said Coach Sterling. "It's just so sad that this can happen to an 8 year old that plays hockey and loves the game, just a great kid all around."