Friends, family remember boat collision victims

SAN DIEGO - Friends and family members are remembering the two men killed in a boating collision on El Capitan Reservoir.

The two men were identified by friends and family members as Russell Mendez and Jeffry Ingram, and 10News learned the men were fishing -- something they enjoyed doing together.

"When you looked at him, you'd see a happy, well-developed 21-year-old who made the most out of life," said Ingram's father, Rick. He described his son as an outgoing young man who loved his family about as much as he loved the outdoors.

Ingram and his best friend Mendez were on Ingram's boat at El Capitan on Thursday evening when police say another boat came speeding by and slammed into the young men, killing them.

Ingram's mother fought back tears as she recalled the last time she spoke to her son, not knowing she would never see him alive again.

"He went to take a nap and I saw him when he got up and he told me he loved me," said Mary Ingram.

Witnesses say two men in a blue and white Nitro were going through a ‘no wake’ zone at a high rate of speed right before the crash.

10News was there Friday morning as a man with a bandaged wrist and two others were unhooking from a boat trailer for a Nitro. They refused to answer our questions about their possible involvement.

A 10News crew also stopped by an address listed for the boat's owner, but no one answered the door.

Ingram's parents say although they would rather have their son, they hope whoever is responsible for the crash will be brought to justice.

"Partial justice would be for the individuals who caused this accident to receive the fullest extent of the law," said Rick Ingram.

Ryan Arias said, "I woke up to a text on my phone. I saw posts on Twitter, Facebook, and you can't help but break ... it was extremely heartbreaking."

Arias remembers Mendez well. They were great friends and teammates on the football team at Patrick Henry High School.

"He was the first person I met in high school, day one of football camp, freshman year," Arias said.

Richard Owen was the Patrick Henry High School football booster president when Mendez played linebacker for the Patriots. He said, "I've known Russell since he was a freshman at Patrick Henry."

Owen also knew Ingram, and he said of both men: "Really good kids out there and just good people all the way around … The smile, both of them, especially Russell. His smile is just infectious."

Mendez was one of the biggest guys on the squad, and Owen added, "One of those kids you couldn't help but smile when you saw that big ol' grin coming down the hallway."

Smartphones erupted Friday morning as news of the incident spread.

Ingram's brother, Michael, vented his frustration on Facebook. He said he wants justice to be served on the people who crashed into the fishing boat his brother and Mendez were on.

 

For now, Mendez and Ingram are being remembered for who they are and the smiles they left on the faces at Patrick Henry High School.

Owen said, "They'll pick up and they'll move on."

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