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Second vigil held for Fort Lauderdale teen killed in boat crash

John Baker killed, 5 others injured in Wednesday night crash

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A second vigil was held Friday morning for a 17-year-old boy who was killed in boat crash late Wednesday night.

John Baker was killed, and five other teenagers were hospitalized after the boat they were riding in hit a low-clearance bridge in the south fork of the Middle River near Northeast 18th Court and North Dixie Highway in Fort Lauderdale.

Baker's family and classmates from St. Thomas Aquinas gathered at the school's campus to sing songs and pray in honor of their friend, a standout player on the football team, and in support of the other teens recovering in the hospital.

"We are all coming together and being there for each other," student body president Maddy Weiss said. "There are not a lot of words being shared but a lot of hugs, and you can feel the energy in the room when you come in here. We all love John so much."

"Tell your friends how much you love them because you never know when you are going to see them next, and just be kind to everyone," Weiss added. "You never know how far a smile could go."

Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said at least two of the teens were standing up when the 13-foot Boston Whaler hit the bridge, and an eyewitness said he believed the boat was going too fast on that stretch of the river.

"The way the water was moving, it was probably going a little too fast," Kedron Renier said.

Meanwhile, students said one of the victims who wasn't seriously injured, George Marshall, helped save the life of one of three teens still hospitalized.

Friends said Marshall pulled Emily Giusti, who was face-down and unconscious in the water, to safety.

"Just the actions that George displayed there. We can never repay him for that. He was a hero that day," Weiss said.

The FWC continues to investigate the cause of the crash.

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