High School Football Player Dies, 5 of His Friends Injured in Midnight Boat Crash

One teenager has died and five of his friends suffered injuries after their boat slammed into a bridge in an early-morning crash.

John Baker, a 17-year-old high school football player, has been identified as the victim of Thursday's crash in Fort Lauderdale's Middle River in Florida.

The teenagers - five boys and one girl - set out on the 13-foot Boston Whaler around 10.30pm on Wednesday and crashed around 90 minutes later when it was "very dark", authorities said.

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Their boat smashed into a bridge at a point where the river flows through a residential neighborhood.

Michael Cooper, a nearby resident, recalled hearing a "tremendous smack" as he was getting ready for bed, The Associated Press reported. He said that the vessel crashed into pilings under the bridge.

Three of the teenagers are in critical condition while two others suffered minor injuries, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Liz Barraco said on Thursday.

The boat did not belong to anyone on board, investigators said. Barraco said her agency is looking into whether anyone had loaned the boat to the teenagers.

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Baker was about to start his senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, a friend, Prince Hassan, told The Associated Press.

Friends also paid tribute to the teen on Twitter.

"The world lost a great person today and my prayers go out to his family," one wrote.

Another added: "Rest in Peace John Baker we love you endlessly and will never forget what you had to offer this world. Life won't be the same without you."

The other teenagers involved in the crash have not been named.

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