Family members mourn 2 Plantation High School students killed in canal crash

Family and friends continued to mourn after 2 Plantation High School students were killed in a canal crash in Sunrise.

SUNRISE, Fla. – An investigation is underway after a driver crashed a vehicle into a canal in Sunrise on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in the deaths of two teenagers.

The victims have been identified by family members as 16-year-old Sherwenly Luxilien and 17-year-old Frandeline Joseph.

Authorities said the vehicle crashed into a canal around 5:30 p.m. near 7775 W. Oakland Park Blvd.

Local 10 News spoke with Luxilien’s mother Rosemay, who said her son never left home without saying those three special words.

“I love you mommy, I love you mommy--Every day he say I love you,” she said.

Loved ones told Local 10 News’ Terrell Forney that Joseph was everyone’s best friend.

Sky 10 flew over the scene late Wednesday afternoon where dive teams were seen responding to the incident.

“Depth is about 20 to 25-feet deep. Our Fire Rescue divers advised it’s very weed-infested -- a lot of downed trees, very murky water, certainly almost like a seaweed-type,” said Sunrise Fire Chief John McNamara.

Within minutes, rescue crews pulled out a teenage girl from the water and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where Sunrise Fire Rescue said she later died.

Authorities said about two hours after finding the girl, divers recovered the teenage boy’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to authorities, both victims were able to get out of the car after it went into the water, but they did not know how to swim.

“They actually were attempting to swim, but apparently could not swim and went back under water,” said McNamara.

“One of our employees also jumped in to try and help,” said Jersey College Campus Director Dennis Graberg. “Obviously, none of the three could do anything -- the car was well submerged at that point and all you could see were the bubbles coming up.”

Dr. John Silver was later identified as the staff member who tried to save the victims. Nursing student Heather Gibson also jumped in to try and save them.

“I stripped off my lab coat and went in, (then) went over to where the bubbles were and tried to go down,” said Silver. “I’m a nurse--that’s what we do.”

Asked what she would like to say to the families of the victims, Gibson said, “I am so sorry I couldn’t help your babies.”

Sunrise Fire Rescue, Sunrise police and Broward Sheriff’s Office dive teams all responded to the canal.

According to officials, both teenagers were students at Plantation High School.

Students and teachers at the school were told of the tragedy after the principal announced the death of the two students.

Edrick Metayer, a fellow classmate, told Local 10 News that he was sad after hearing what happened to Luxilien.

“Yesterday, I had him in my 7th period class--It’s kind of sad knowing that he went home and that was the last day he was going to live,” Metayer said.

Authorities have not released any further information on what caused the car to go into the canal.

A GoFundMe page was created by Joseph’s family to help with funeral costs, and the page can be found by clicking here.

About the Authors:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.