Fort Lauderdale Police and officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation are still investigating a fatal boating accident along Middle River that left one teen boy dead and five others injured — three of the them critically. One of the teens is in stable condition, and another was treated and released, according to officials. The small boat, described in various reports as no more than 17 feet in length, crashed into a bridge located along Dixie Highway and NE 18th Court around midnight Thursday.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, the teen who died was killed on impact, while the others had to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center.
An FWC spokesperson says that investigators are still not sure if speed was a factor in the accident but that at least two of the teens were standing at the time of the accident.
"None of the kids said that they felt threatened with the speed that they were going, so I don't know what that means," FWC spokesperson Amanda Phillips told the media Thursday morning. "Hopefully in a few more hours, by putting all the investigation together and looking at the different things, we can come up with an approximate speed."
According to WSVN, the bridge the teens crashed into is known for being too low to go under during high tide. Drainage tubes that connect to nearby condominiums are located on the other side of the bridge, making it impossible to navigate under the bridge unless it's low tide. Phillips says the teens crashed into the part of the bridge located on the south fork of the Middle River, which is also an area that is dark and unlit.
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FWC says the five teens are all under 18, but their names have not yet been released. Officials say the teens all attend St. Thomas Aquinas High School together.
This is just the latest tragedy involving teens and boats in South Florida.
On July 4, a 17-year-old Fort Lauderdale boy had to be hospitalized after a boat he was on crashed into a wall near Cypress Creek Road on the Intracoastal Waterway.
And then, of course, there's Perry and Austin, the two young boys who went missing July 24 while boating off the coast near Jupiter Inlet. After weeks of searching, the Coast Guard called off the search.