Family Speaks Out After 16-Year-Old Dies in Boat vs Personal Watercraft Crash at Modesto Reservoir

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The family of a 16-year-old boy who was killed in a boat vs. personal watercraft on the Modesto Reservoir on Sunday are speaking out -- saying the crash was no accident.

They believe the crash was the result of a hate crime.

You don't have to speak Spanish to understand this mother's pain. She witnessed the crash that took her 16-year-old son's life.

"We all in so much pain, because we all witnessed how Efren's body flew out of the jet ski," said Marta Valencia, the victim's sister-in-law.

Monday, Efren David Valencia's family made a startling accusation.

"We want to tell the world is that the people who own the boat, they were aiming for them," Valencia said.

Valencia was on a Sea-Doo with his brother Daniel, who underwent surgery Monday for a punctured kidney. But before the crash, the family says the man on the boat was trying to get the two brothers to race him -- by making racist comments.

"They were trying to tease them, tease them and they were saying, 'ah you go back to Mexico...'" Valencia said.

"Trying to tease them to get them angry to race them, and they didn't listen, so that's why they went and got them," she said.

And there may be a history between the family and the boater.

"Like I didn't say nothing to him, we didn't say nothing, but we just made eye contact and we just went," said Jose Valencia, brother of Efren and Daniel.

Jose Valencia says the same man tried to race him on the same lake last year.

"It wasn't my intention to race him, but then he thought it was a race so I went faster, I guess you could say I won because I was in the front, but I never thought this was going to happen," Valencia said.

Efren had just moved from Oakland to Merced, in order to jump start his 11th-grade education in engineering at Merced High School.

"He used to tell my mother-in-law that whenever he become an engineer he was going to help everybody, everybody who help him," Marta Valencia said.

FOX40 asked the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department if they were investigating the crash as a hate crime. As of now, they are not. They say they're still trying to figure out what happened.

The family is asking for witnesses of Sunday's crash to contact them. You can email the family here:

The family has also set up a GoFundMe account.


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