This past Sunday, DJ Laz, AKA Lazaro Mendez, took his 40-foot powerboat out for a day of partying to promote Voli Vodka off the shores of Key Biscayne. The boat became stranded on a sandbar. An ill-thought-out attempt to free the boat ended in the death of 23-year-old Ernesto Hernandez after he got caught in the propeller.
Mendez, one of Miami's most popular radio personalities, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
Laz had been promoting the party on social media earlier in the day to his more than 23,000 Twitter followers and 11,000 Facebook fans.
— DJ Laz (@therealdjlaz) May 4, 2014
According to Local 10, witnesses say about 20 boats ended up heading out to the party, and alcohol was freely flowing.
When Laz's boat got stuck, several people decided to help out by pushing the boat off of the sandbar rather than wait for high tide.
"Unfortunately, there was another young man who came to assist. He ended up, we don't know why, in the rear of the vessel, and one of the engines actually caught his body, his torso, causing him to suffer some very severe injures," FWC Officer Jorge Pino told CBS Miami.
Hernandez was rushed to a hospital by a rescue helicopter but did not survive his injuries.
Several witness tweeted about the incident.
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Literally saw Dj Laz chop some guy into pieces organs hanging out n everything
— VSHTON™ (@_ashton24) May 5, 2014
@Czr_Vlzco he murked some nigga with his boats propeller he ripped his organs out
— Dr. Greenthumb (@armando0420) May 5, 2014
Mendez is said to have cooperated fully with the investigation, expressed sympathy, and voluntarily gave investigators a blood sample. No charges have yet been filed.