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CBS4 Exclusive: DJ Laz Describes Deadly Boat Accident On Deposition Video

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - DJ Laz, whose real name is Lazaro Mendez, is named in a lawsuit filed by the family of the man killed while pushing Mendez' boat.

Several months ago Mendez agreed to a confidential settlement with that family.

Now we are hearing about that tragic day from DJ Laz himself.

The family's attorney released the video deposition and transcript of their six hour interview with Mendez as they prepare for trial against a vodka label, Voli Vodka and liquor marketing company Liquid Assets Group LLC. A friend of Mendez, who was on the boat during the incident, Jorge Robaina is also named in the suit.

DJ Laz settled his part of the same suit, filed by the family of Ernesto Hernandez, who was killed by the boat's engines as he helped to push it off the Nixon Beach sandbar in Biscayne Bay last year.

Mendez was out on the water Cinco de mayo weekend promoting the vodka, as a favor to his friend, rapper Pitbull, who is the public face of the brand.

Mendez testified he had one vodka drink, or a few sips of one late that morning, but nothing while boating.

And he could not explain the ripped up pieces of a dollar bill containing cocaine residue that investigators discovered the next day on his boat.

"Have you ever used cocaine on your boat?" asked the plaintiff's attorney Elisabeth Culmo.

"Never in life," responded Mendez.

"Okay, do you know how a dollar bill with cocaine residue got on your boat?" asked Culmo?

"I have no clue," responded Mendez.

After several hours of partying, with law enforcement nearby, Mendez' boat became stuck on the sandbar.

He says he asked only the guys on his boat to push it off. Men from other boats, including Hernandez also helped.

"When we were trying to push it by manual power that it wasn't moving, that's when I proceeded to tell everybody to get away from the boat, that I was going to start the motors," he explained.

"Once I cleared the boat my focus was on the front."

Pictures show several men in the back of the boat pushing while the engines appear to be on, Mendez says he didn't see them.

"Did I see everybody back away, and will common sense tell you to back away from on motors? Yes."

Hernandez was killed..cut all over his body by the propeller.

"I pulled the throttle back when I heard the screams….Then I was yelling to the top of my lungs. 'I told everybody to back the 'F' up away from the boat. What the--?'".

The toxicology report showed Hernandez' blood alcohol content was more than double the legal limit. He was not operating a boat himself. Mendez described the immediate reaction from Hernandez' brother and friends.

"Basically yelling and screaming, "'Don't try to tell people you weren't driving. I don't care if you're on the radio or not.'"

He said the entire experience was traumatic.

"At that point I didn't want to speak to anybody. I was shaking."

Mendez says it wasn't until after investigators took him to No Name Harbor for questioning that he learned Hernandez did not survive.

"The first question I asked is, 'Is the kid okay?' And that's when I got the horrible news."

Mendez testified he has been back out boating more than a dozen times since Hernandez' death and that he is trying to sell his boat. He is not facing any criminal charges, but was cited for careless boating. His lawyer says he is fighting that ticket.

CBS4's Natalia Zea reached out to the attorneys for the companies named in the suit. So far they've chosen not to comment.

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