The grieving girlfriend of one of five teens who were killed when their car plunged into a Florida pond this week says she was supposed to be with them that night — and admitted that at times over the last day, she has wished she was.
An emotional Jazlynn Rodriguez, who was dating victim Eric Cox, told NBC 2 Tuesday she was supposed to hang with the group of friends, four of whom worked together at a local Fort Myers steakhouse, but was too tired to go out Sunday night.
“I was supposed to be in that car … I was supposed to be in that car,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes I wish that I did go with them.”
Cox, along with Amanda Ferguson, Breanna Coleman, Jackson Eyre and Jesus Salinas, died Sunday overnight when the black Kia sedan they were in veered off the road and into a retention pond in Fort Myers, according to reports.
The five teenagers, ages 18 or 19, were pulled from the pond and pronounced dead at the scene early Monday, according to police.
Rodriguez told NBC 2 that she sensed something was wrong when her boyfriend stopped replying to her texts. The pair had plans to spend the next day together.
“The last thing I told him was, ‘I miss you. I’m excited to see you tomorrow,’” Rodriguez said. “He said, ‘I miss you too, baby. I’m ready to see you again.’”
Authorities said between 10:30 p.m. and early Monday, the Kia crashed into the pond alongside Interstate 75 and submerged, the News-Press reported.
It’s suspected the driver lost control of the car.
Police have not confirmed who was behind the wheel.
Ferguson, Cox, Eyre and Coleman all worked at the Fort Myers Texas Roadhouse, which was closed Monday as a result of the shocking deaths.
One friend who knew some of the victims remembered them fondly.
“Amanda was the most bubbly, funny person you’d ever meet,” Lylah Law told the News-Press. “As soon as you walked in the restaurant, she would greet you and greet you loud. She was always just so outgoing and friendly and just tried her best.”
Eyre, whose father, Willie, is a former major league baseball pitcher, was smart and personable, Law said.
“He could talk for hours about anything,” Law told the newspaper. “He was very smart.”
And Law described Cox as “one of the sweetest persons you’ll ever meet.”
“He just had a very welcoming aura,” she reportedly said. “He always had a very cute smile on his face.”
Ferguson’s mother said her late daughter Amanda had dreams of being a teacher.
“Amanda was — is … full of light and energy and happiness,” said Elizabeth Ferguson, according to NBC 2.
“I think they were five friends out having fun, and it was a terrible accident. A freak accident. I have no question,” Ferguson added.