Savannah teacher, son among the victims of a boat crash on the GA River


17-year-old Nathan Leffler (left) and his father Christopher Leffler, 51, were among five people killed in a boat crash on the Wilmington River in Georgia on May 28.

A fragment of the screen from the WJCL Facebook page

The school community mourns the loss of a beloved teacher and his son in a boat accident that killed five people in the Georgia River over the weekend on Remembrance Day, several publications reported.

Four of the five victims were members of the same family.

Among those killed were 51-year-old Christopher Leffler and 17-year-old Nathan Leffler when two boats collided on the Wilmington River near Savannah on Saturday, May 28, McClatchy News reported, citing the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Christopher Lefler’s wife Lori Lefler and their 23-year-old son Zachary Lefler also died in the crash, as well as 37-year-old Robert Chauncey, who was a passenger on the second boat, officials said.

Christopher Lefler was a teacher and coach at Calvary Day School in Savannah, according to the school’s website. Nathan was a student of a private Christian school.

“We love the Lefler family and our hearts are broken“- said in a statement the head of the school, Dr. Hunter Chadwick, according to WJCL. “I want to thank all those who are first responsible and all those who continue to pray for the Calvary community and the Lefler family. Everyone who knows them has seen faith in action. Chris, Laurie, Zack and Nate are so loved by many and they will be very bored. “

On Monday, May 30, McClatchy News contacted Calvary Day School and awaited a response.

Chris Lefler is remembered as a “wonderful” educator, coach and friend. Nathan was best known for his “contagious smile”, “quiet demeanor” and love of sports.

“Nothing can prepare you for such a tragedy, but as a community of believers, we will trust and believe in God and find comfort in knowing that our dear friends are at home with our Lord and Savior,” Chadwick concluded.

Authorities received a warning of a fatal crash Saturday after 10:30 a.m. when someone called to report that two boats had collided near Thunderbolt Marina on the Wilmington River, U.S. Coast Guard reports. Suanet reported that several people were thrown overboard.

Two people died at the scene, three more bodies were found from the river on Sunday, May 29, McClatchy News reported, citing authorities.

Georgia Resources Department accused Mark Stegal, 45, boating is affected, WSAV and WSB-TV. The investigation into the disaster continues.

This story was originally published May 30, 2022, 8:09 p.m.

Tanasia is a national real-time reporter in Atlanta covering news in Georgia, Mississippi, and the southeastern United States. She is a graduate of Keneso State University and joined McClach in 2020.

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