2 remain in critical condition as 17-year-old victim mourned after Miami-Dade boat crash
Three victims remain hospitalized, two of them in critical condition, as friends gathered Tuesday to mourn a 17-year-old girl who died in a boat crash Sunday night in the waters near Biscayne Bay.
Investigators continued to work to determine what caused the boat to slam into a channel marker off Boca Chita Key.
The roughly 28-foot boat was carrying 14 people. Sources say the group was on the water as part of a birthday celebration and the boat was being driven by the father of one of the teen girls on board.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission later identified the driver as George Ignacio Pino, 52, of Miami. He was among the more than half-dozen hurt in the crash, according to FWC.
The group was in the process of heading back to Ocean Reef, near Key Largo, at the time of the crash. FWC officials said alcohol was not believed to be a contributing factor in the crash.
All 14 people on the boat were ejected.
A source who spoke to Local 10 News said he was on a boat that passed by the scene of the crash and said he saw the boat upside down in the water, with girls holding on to seemingly unconscious friends, screaming for help.
The good Samaritan and several others on his boat jumped into the water, fully clothed, and started bringing the girls, one by one, onto his boat, he said. 17-year-old Lucy Fernandez died from her injuries.
Fernandez was a senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in southwest Miami-Dade, involved in peer ministry and the cross country team. Her friends said she will be missed for her smile, her larger than life personality and her faith.
Students from multiple Miami-area high schools gathered Tuesday to honor her at Matheson Hammock in Coral Gables for a sunrise vigil and then came to Lourdes Academy to lay flowers in her parking spot.
Local 10 News spoke with Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami.
“Our prayers are with the families who have suffered this great tragedy,” Wenski said. “It shows us the precariousness of life and what a great gift it is.”
Local 10 News learned that one of the girls injured was in an induced coma as of Tuesday afternoon, while another underwent several serious surgeries. She woke up Tuesday morning.
Investigators were expected to release more information in the coming days.