SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor in a boat crash that claimed the life of a South Florida student, according to investigators.
According to a preliminary report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a 29-foot boat with 14 people on board struck a channel marker while traveling in the intracoastal waterway at the south end of Cutter Bank in Miami-Dade County, just north of Key Largo, Sunday evening.
The 14 people are said to have been out on the boat celebrating a birthday.
All 14 people on board, including two adults, were thrown off the boat.
According to FWC, somehow the person operating the boat, identified as 51-year-old George Ignacio Pino, crashed into a channel marker. He was also one of those who were injured in the crash.
Five teenage girls and another adult were injured as a result of the crash.
“All of the students that were on the boat, in the accident, were all very interconnected,” said President of Our Lady of Lourdes Academy Sister Carmen Fernandez.
The group is now tragically connected by grief.
“They’ve been family, friends, parents included, since they were little girls,” said Fernandez.
According to officials, 17-year-old Lucy Fernandez, a senior at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, died as a result of her injuries.
Good Samaritans and multiple responding agencies helped rescue everyone from the water. Seven of them were transported to area hospitals.
The FWC identified all of the occupants on board:
- George Ignacio Pino
- Cecilia Pino
- Katerina Sofia Puig
- Coco Aguilar
- Isabella Rodriguez
- Sarah Emily Gutierrez
- Cecilia Lianna Pino
- Camila Victoria Alvarez
- Paula Garcia
- Natalia Elena Reed
- Claudia Porto Carrero
- Carolina Monterrey
- Andrea Laura Knoepffler
Early Tuesday morning, students from across multiple schools joined at Matheson Hammock Park to silently honor and remember Fernandez.
“It’s our first day in school without Lucy, and the girls and the faculty and staff were very affected by it,” said Fernandez. “She would brighten up every room she walked into. She had a very positive outlook on life and her deep spirituality, her deep life of faith.”
“She was always faith-oriented, and you knew her, the way she lived, she lived by her faith,” said Beatrice Nunez, a student.
The support extended beyond the two schools, as students from Christopher Columbus High School, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Immaculata-La Salle High School and Westminster Christian School all joined in the tribute.
“The best way that we get through this is two ways, one, with our faith and with the help of each other,” said Fernandez.
The FWC continues to investigate this incident.
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