PLANTATION (CBSMiami/AP) — A memorial mass was be held Monday for a Ft. Lauderdale teen who died after a boat he was in slammed into a bridge in Wilton Manors.
John Baker, 17, was just one of six teens onboard the 13-foot Boston Whaler when it hit the low clearance bridge on the south fork of Middle River around midnight.READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl
Baker’s mass was celebrated at St. Anthony Catholic Church, located at 901 NE 2nd Street in Ft. Lauderdale.
On the night of the accident Kedren Reginer said he saw the boat-load of teens speed past his apartment and knew trouble was just seconds away.
“I seen the boat with my own two eyes. I seen the boat cross over and I’m like woah, it’s late for them to be cruising and they were going pretty fast and then after that, I heard the big smack and boom,” said Reginer.
The bridge they hit has very low clearance and is especially tight to get under it during high tide. Making it even more tricky are big pipes which stretch along its bottom across the water.
Investigators said they believed the teens were on that section of the river two hours earlier exploring the area. They said at the time of the crash it was very dark and they may not have seen the pipes under the bridge.READ MORE: Housing Crisis: County Mayors To Hold Roundtable On Skyrocketing Rents
Reginer said, with the speed they were going, they never had a chance to stop.
Baker, who was about to start his senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, died on the scene. His five friends; Emily Giusti, Kevin Hurst, George Marshall, Chris Gernert and Sean Mahoney were taken to Broward Health Medical Center. Two were treated and released. The three others were hospitalized with more serious injuries.
Classmate Hugo Meyjonade went to visit the survivors at the hospital and said Giusti is expected to be up and walking soon but Mahoney has a long road to recovery.
“Sean has fractures in his spine. He had hip surgery that went well, I hope he’s alright,” said Meyjonade.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the injured teens parents pay for their medical bills.MORE NEWS: 'Ride Of Silence' To Raise Awareness For Cyclists Safety On The Road