Man arrested after New Jersey boy, 14, dies in jet ski crash at Venetian Isles

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A family birthday celebration in Miami turned tragic for a father and his sons from New Jersey.

After paying $300 on Jan. 22, the man’s sons were able to rent a personal watercraft at Albert Pallot Park.

“Under no circumstances did I think he was going to allow my son to utilize the jet ski by himself,” the grieving father said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers reported Shawn Hackett was riding alone when he crashed and died. He was just 14 years old.

“He was one of the most loving, caring young men anybody could ever meet,” the father said.

Ashley Gerson, who lives on Venetian Isles, rushed to call 911 after Shawn lost control and slammed into a docked boat.

“Just heard a loud crash, I thought it was maybe two boats hitting each other,” Gerson said. “When I came back I did see one of the guys holding the boy with the jet ski, holding him by the life jacket, and his head was slung back.”

Shawn’s little brother was riding with Onix Hernandez Cordero and witnessed the crash. Hernandez Cordero never called 911. Investigators accused him of attempting to conceal evidence.

“He was supposed to be taking them for a ride on his jet ski,” Shawn’s father said.

Police officers arrested Hernandez Cordero. A judge set his bond at $45,500.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.