The scene outside in Northport was solemn Monday as family and friends gathered for the funeral service of David Aureliano, the youngster who died during a July 4 boating accident in Oyster Bay Harbor.
David, of Kings Park, would have turned 12 on July 5. He died when the boat he was a passenger in capsized late Wednesday evening after a fireworks show near Oyster Bay. His cousin, 11-year-old Harlie Treanor and family friend, Victoria Gaines, 7, were also killed in the accident.
Family spokesperson Vito DeFeo described the boy as a child full of life, despite a condition that required him to have a tracheal tube.
"David was a happy-go-lucky child," DeFeo said. "He was always smiling and having a good time."
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The family is holding up as well as they can in light of the circumstances, he said, and takes comfort in knowing that David brought them together in life.
Though some say the boat was overcrowded and that tragedy could have been avoided, DeFeo said that there is no sense of blame among the family for what happened. Sal Aureliano, David's uncle, was piloting the boat that night and served as a pallbearer at the funeral.
Two local families have begun a collection for the Aureliano family. According to flyers hung in Kings Park Plaza, donations can be sent or dropped off at 22 Sagebrush Lane or 16 Jasmine Lane in Kings Park.
"It's devastating when you lose a child," said DeFeo. "There's sorrow, there's pain, but there's also joy in knowing that he was a great kid that always brought families together."