Family says goodbye to Goddard grad killed in boat crash

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A power boat race in Florida turned deadly over the weekend, killing a father of four who graduated from Goddard High School.

His three sisters talked with KAKE-TV as they told stories and shared memories.

Some called Mike Salber a “human action figure.” Others described him as a “modern day renaissance man.”

Mike didn't need much when he left Kansas, he traveled the world showing off his talents using the blue waters and his bare feet.

The accomplished barefoot water skier, now a Florida resident was pursuing another passion this past weekend; power boat racing.

Mike was the driver and his 22-year-old son, Zane, was the passenger/navigator. The crowd in Jacksonville couldn't believe what they saw. The boat carrying father and son flipped when it struck another boat.

The crash ejected and killed 56-year-old Mike Salber, that news still hasn't quite set in with his family.

One of Mike's sisters, Sharon Cerre, spoke to Zane after the crash. The 22-year-old has minor injuries and memories of the last words his dad spoke.

"You know I keep hearing my dad say, I can't see, hold on and I'll keep you safe," said Sharon Cerre.   

Mike was a lieutenant with the Sanford Fire Department outside of Orlando. He will be honored this Saturday in a traditional full firefighter ceremony.

For the family their peace is knowing Mike died doing what he loved and he loved to live.  

"I wish I could tell him if he were hear today how proud I was of him and that I loved him,” said Susan Delling, Mike’s older sister.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE