SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. (AP) – It was a “guys day,” a celebration of family and summer. Three boys and their dad took a 20-foot powerboat out on the central New York lake where they grew up, partly to mark the oldest boy’s upcoming engagement.
The family patriarch and two sons would die on Oneida Lake that Thursday night. A third son was badly injured, and his mother said he now carries the burden of surviving.
The oldest boy, Stephen Aceto, had told his family he was there to propose to his girlfriend, Krista Zeisman. She suspected the big question was coming her way but didn’t know for sure, said Stephen’s mother, Carolyn Aceto. Up from Tampa, Fla., where she and Stephen lived, she was meeting the large, close-knit Italian family for the first time since they started dating a year ago.
As the women, Carolyn and Krista included, mingled at home in nearby Utica, the men were on Oneida Lake, watching fireworks a day after Independence Day. It was a lake, Carolyn said, they knew “like the back of your hand” from family outings over the decades before.
“They were just going to have a guys’ day,” Carolyn Aceto said in a strong voice