A group of Florida teenagers employed at a local steakhouse died when their car veered off the road and submerged in a retention pond, resulting in their deaths.
The bodies of three men and two women, aged between 18 and 19, were discovered in the sunken black Kia sedan on Monday morning, June 26, after it was successfully retrieved from the water adjacent to Interstate 75.
The victims have been identified as Amanda Ferguson, Eric Cox, Breanna Coleman, and Jackson Eyre, all of whom were colleagues at the Fort Myers Texas Roadhouse where they worked. Jesus Salinas, the fifth victim, is not believed to have been employed at the restaurant.
Jackson Eyre, a recent graduate from South Fort Myers High School, had intended to attend Fort Myers Technical College in the coming fall, according to the news press. Eyre’s father, Willie Eyre, a former professional baseball relief pitcher and coach of the high school baseball team, expressed profound grief over the loss of his son.
Another victim, Eric Cox, 19, had recently graduated from high school and had aspirations of becoming a firefighter, according to his father. A makeshift memorial adorned with flags at a half-staff was established in front of Texas Roadhouse, serving as a tribute to the fallen teens.
The accident occurred between 10:30 pm on Sunday and early Monday, according to Fort Myers Police Department spokesperson Kristin Capuzzi. The teens were reported missing around 4 am, prompting an investigation into the crash that is currently ongoing.
The Texas Roadhouse expressed deep sorrow for the loss of their employees in a Facebook post, extending their condolences to the grieving families and friends.