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Teen dies trying to save driver from car sinking in lake, police say


Teen dies trying to save driver from car sinking in lake, police say (CBS Newspath/CBS Miami/WFOR)
Teen dies trying to save driver from car sinking in lake, police say (CBS Newspath/CBS Miami/WFOR)
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS Newspath/CBSMiami/WFOR/WKRC) - 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 jumped in the lake to try to save the driver.

A close family friend says 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.

“It was a selfless act,” twelfth grader Coral Funes said. “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 says, “It’s very sad and a tragic thing.”

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

The car plunged into the lake 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,” he said. “It was like 15 or 20 minutes. It didn’t seem very promising. 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,” said Marta Grove. “We’ve had two to three accidents in the 33 years that I have lived here.”

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

She hopes something will be done so something like this does not happen again.

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Sunrise Police say 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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