‘Justice is happening’: Family of those killed in 2019 boat fire react to captain’s indictment

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — More than a year after a boat fire killed their daughters, a family in Stockton feels like justice will soon become a reality.

Thirty-four people died on the Conception Boat in 2019 when a fire broke out. 

A federal jury has indicted the boat’s captain, with Captain Jerry Boylan now facing 34 counts of manslaughter.

“We actually have been expecting these charges to be made,” said Susana Solano Rosas. “We have been anxiously waiting for someone to be held accountable for the loss of 34 people.”

Susana Solano Rosas and her husband Chris Rosas told FOX40 over Zoom they feel the indictment is a step in the right direction.

“Feels like maybe justice is happening,” Susana Solano Rosas said.

Her three daughters Evan, Nicole, and Angela; her ex-husband, Michael Quitasol; and his wife, Fernisa Sison were all onboard the Conception Boat celebrating Quitasol’s birthday when the tragedy unfolded.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been unable to pinpoint the exact cause.

“It ended up being a horrific, horrible tragedy that’s changed our lives forever,” Susana Solano Rosas said.

Investigators were able to hone in on certain issues that the jury also outlined in their indictment such as not having a night-roving patrol, along with a failure to conduct fire drills and a failure to sufficiently train the crew.

The family would like to see changes made.

“If they’re not held responsible, then who will be on the next watch? What will happen to another boat?” Chris Rosas asked.

The Rosas said they will continue to fight for safer passenger boats in the memory of their loving family.

“Changes be made so that no other families have to go on with the loss like ours,” Susana Solano Rosas said.

The Rosas’ are also hoping that more people will be held accountable.

According to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

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