"My dad loved the water," Caroselli's son Phil said. "He had stories about skiing behind Magellan's boat."
Caroselli, of Brighton, died Sunday on his 2004 Bayliner Ski Boat on Lake McConaughy, near Ogallala, Neb. Investigators say Andrew Schmidt, 36, of Castle Rock lost control of his Jet Ski, T-boned Caroselli's boat, and landed inside.
The impact of the Jet Ski threw Caroselli from the boat, his son said.
Investigators have charged Schmidt with manslaughter and reckless/negligent operation of a personal watercraft.
Toxicology tests are still being conducted.
Four of Caroselli's family members, including his daughter and two granddaughters, were all injured.
"Maybe it was an accident; I don't know," Phil Caroselli, Rich's oldest son, said. "I have to believe in my faith. There was a reason for it."
Caroselli knew being near water was the perfect way to relax.
He came to Colorado from Ohio in February of 1975 with his wife, a baby daughter, a truck, and his boat.
"Dad always had a boat," Phil Caroselli said.
Caroselli worked for 35 years as a heavy equipment operator in the molybdenum mines near Empire. He was most likely going to retire next year, his son said.
Whatever Caroselli could explore above ground was a welcome bonus on that hard earned paycheck down in the mines.
He would always send emails to his family asking if they wanted to join him on his outdoor adventures.
"He loved [the] wilderness and the outdoors, nature," Phil said. "He loved hiking, boating. He was a boating and waterskiing enthusiast."
Caroselli had five children and seven grandkids.
"He loved his family. He loved his grandkids," Phil said. "He was very in tune with nature."
Services for Caroselli will take place Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 11:00 a.m. It will be at the Tabor-Rice Funeral Home in Brighton.
Memorial Contributions can be made to the Richard Caroselli Memorial Fund c/o Bank of the West, 1795 East Bridge Street, Brighton, Colorado 80601.
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