Teenage good Samaritan dies trying to save driver of car that plunged into lake

Apr 20, 2022, 3:51 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:16 pm

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (WFOR) — Two teens are dead after a car plunged into a lake in Sunrise Tuesday night.

The 18-year-old driver lost his life as well as a 17-year-old boy who police say was on a walk with his mother and who jumped in the lake to try to save the driver.

A close family friend tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that that 17-year-old good Samaritan was a junior at Western High School, a straight A student and a “great kid.”

Students at Western High School learned about the tragedy when an announcement was made on Wednesday morning.

Twelfth grader Coral Funes said, “It was a selfless act. Throwing yourself in there like that. It’s so sad what happened to him, but it is beautiful what he did. It hit me because a lot of my friends are 17 and you think about losing them.”

An unidentified 9th grade student told CBS4 News, “It’s very sad and a tragic thing.”

Fellow student Juan Chavarrio said, “I think this was very brave of him.”

The car plunged into the lake in the Residences of Sawgrass Mills neighborhood along NW 12th Avenue near Silver Palm Boulevard, just north of I-595 around 10:20 p.m.

According to a man who showed up at the scene, his girlfriend’s 17-year-old son jumped into the water to try and help those in the car.

Police and emergency crews arrived at the scene and a dive team was sent into the water.

The teen was pulled from the water and taken to Broward Health Medical Center where he died.

Daniel Welborn described the scene, saying divers had a difficult time finding the car.

“It did take them a while to find the first person they pulled out. It was like 15 or 20 minutes. It didn’t seem very promising,” he said. “They did some chest compressions for 15 seconds. Then stopped. Put him on a stretcher, put him in an ambulance, not with undue haste”.

According to police, the body of the 18-year-old driver was pulled from the car. It appears he was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Accident investigators spent Wednesday morning putting the pieces of a puzzle together, reconstructing what happened.

They found the car left the road, ran across the median, hit a tree, snapping it at its trunk, then continued up the sidewalk and into the water.

“In this neighborhood, the kids always like to go fast. We’ve had two to three accidents in the 33 years that I have lived here,” said Marta Grove.

She said her neighbors have complained about reckless driving to the police and to the city, but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

“We talked with the association. The association says the city won’t put in lights,” said Grove.

She hopes something will be done so something like this doesn’t happen again.

Sunrise Police told CBS4 news that they have not received any complaints recently about reckless driving. They say it is not known if the 18-year-old driver was speeding.

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Teenage good Samaritan dies trying to save driver of car that plunged into lake