Fans invited to gather Wednesday to pay tribute to Jose Fernandez

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fans will get two opportunities Wednesday to pay their respects to Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died this past weekend in a boating accident.

Fans have been invited to gather Wednesday at the West Plaza at Marlins Parkat 2 p.m. ET, for Fernandez's final departure from the ballpark at 2:16 p.m. ET. The procession will travel to Ermita de la Caridad (Shrine of Our Lady of Charity) in Miami, for a blessing.

A public visitation will then be held from 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Wednesday at St. Brendan's Catholic Church in Miami. A private mass for Fernandez will be held Thursday.

Instead of flowers, the Fernandez family is asking people to make charitable contributions to the JDF16 Foundation, which can be found online at .

Fernandez, 24, and two other men were killed early Sunday when his 32-foot SeaVee boat slammed into a rock jetty that extends off the southern tip of Miami Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continues to investigate the crash. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner has not yet released toxicology results.

A spokeswoman for American Social Bar & Restaurant in Miami confirmed Tuesday in an email that Fernandez was a patron at the establishment before the crash. The statement did not say whether Fernandez had been drinking or what time he left. The bar is along the Miami River and allows boats to dock alongside.

Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, also died in the accident.

Also Tuesday, authorities said they have no record of any previous citations or warnings for the boat, named "Kaught Looking,"nor did Fernandez or either of the other two men aboard.

Fernandez originally had been scheduled to start Monday night's game against the New York Mets.

Fans established a makeshift memorial on the plaza outside the ballpark entrance, leaving dozens of flower arrangements -- daisies, carnations, roses and lilies, the result as colorful as Fernandez's personality. There were also candles, and messages scrawled on balls, balloons, photos and jerseys.

"It's our job to make his life matter, so we're going to do that forever, and forever starts today," Marlins president David Samson said Monday.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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