Five teenagers died over the weekend in Fort Myers, Florida, when their car sank in a retention pond near a Topgolf complex, according to police.
Four of the teens, all aged 18 to 19, worked together at a Texas Roadhouse chain restaurant.
A post from the restaurant identified four of the victims as employees Amanda Ferguson, Eric Paul, Breanna Coleman, and Jackson Eyre.
A fifth person, not yet publicly identified, was also in the car.
Community members were seen laying flowers at the pond throughout Monday, offering their condolences.
The crash occured between 10.30pm on Sunday and early Monday morning, according to officials.
All five inside the car were pronounced dead on the scene.
“It took a long time to get it out,” police spokesperson Kristen Capuzzi told the Fort Myers News-Press.
Officials were alerted to the crash early on Monday morning around 4am, when parents of the victims grew concerned their children hadn’t come back from work, WINK reports.
Flags flew at half-staff on Monday at the restaurant where the teens worked.
“It’s a place of comfort for many of them,” Alan Hansen, Southwest Florida Texas Roadhouse Market Partner, told WINK. “These four kids they worked with us a lot. They spent a lot of time here. This is where we come together to break bread, at Texas Roadhouse here tonight, and their families are obviously welcome. We just want to recognize their lives and the good that they’ve done in our society and in our group here at Texas Roadhouse.”
The South Fort Myers baseball team offered their condolences to Eyre, a former player.
“Jackson embraced so many people and now we need to embrace his memory,” the team wrote on its Instagram page. “Anytime someone passes, we lose a little bit of who we are. It hurts even more when it’s one of our own. We ask everyone in the community to pray for his family & friends, as we get through this impossibly difficult time together.”
Fort Myers police and fire department personnel assisted with the recovery effort and investigation, as did the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
“My condolences to the family of these victims,” Fort Myers Police Chief Randall Pepitone said at a press conference.
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