University of Tennessee Health Science Center Professor Among 34 Killed in Santa Barbara County Boat Fire
SANTA BARBARA, CA (September 9, 2019) – After the diving boat fire early Monday morning near Santa Cruz Island, one fatality victim was later identified as Ted Strom.
According to People, Strom, 62, was from Germantown, Tennessee. He was also an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and a staff physician at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Based on reports, flames engulfed the 75-foot diving vessel around 3:00 AM on Labor Day just off the coast of Southern California. 39 people were on board during the accident.
Five crew members were able to escape the fire. However, 33 passengers and one crew member were trapped in the lower deck. The boat eventually sank about four hours later.
As of Wednesday afternoon, search teams recovered 33 bodies. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Office later issued a result of their preliminary examination revealing that the victims died of smoke inhalation rather than burns.
The 31 other victims were later identified as: Neal Baltz, Patricia Beitzinger, Kristy Finstad, Evanmichel Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol, Angela Quitasol, Fernisa Sison, Michael Storm Quitasol, Allie Kurtz, Raymond Scott Chan, Kendra Chen, Steve Salika, Tia Salika, Diana Salika, Berenice Felipe Alvarez, Mike Kohls, Charles McIlvain, Marybeth Guiney, Lisa Fiedler, Daniel Garcia, Yulia Krashennaya, Kristian Takvam, Adrian Dahood-Fritz, Andrew Fritz, Vaidehi Campbell, Kristian Takvam, Justin Dignam, Kaustubh Nirmal, Sanjeeri Deopujari, Wei Tan and Sunil Singh Sandhu.
Furthermore, authorities served search warrants at Truth Aquatics’ offices, the Southern California company that owned the diving vessel. No further details have been released. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Sweet Lawyers sends our sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Ted Strom during this difficult time.
If you lost a loved one in this tragic incident, you can reach out to Sweet Lawyers. We have over 40 years of experience in the legal field. As a result, we know what it takes to win your wrongful death case. We will fight to help you achieve the justice and compensation that your family deserves. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 674 7852 and speak to an experienced legal professional in your area. In addition, you can contact us 24 hours a day and seven days a week.