Vigil commemorates the lives of Savannah family killed in boating accident by drunk driver

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A community in mourning grieved together after the tragic loss of a former teacher, along with his wife and two of his children.

A vigil at Kings Ridge Christian School honored Chris Leffler, his wife Lori, and sons Zach and Nate, who were all killed in a boating crash in Savannah.

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“It was just a chance for our kids and our families just to catch their breath a little bit. And I think it’s becoming more real,” said Edward Spurka, head of King’s Ridge Christian School.

Leffler was a beloved history teacher at Kings Ridge for five years before he and his family moved to Savannah this year.

His 17-year-old son Nate was also a former student who loved football.

“Chris was very involved in the community, coaching football, class advisor. Firstly, first to work, and the last one to leave,” Spurka said.


Georgia Department of Natural Resources says someone under the influence of alcohol drove a boat head-on into the Lefflers’ boat Saturday on the Wilmington River.

The crash left a passenger on the other boat dead, and the accused drunk driver in custody.

On the Lefflers’ boat, only their daughter Katie and a friend survived.

“We have a lot of families here that are engaged with a family; so one of our next steps is, how do we support Katie?,” Spurka asked. “She’s got a long road ahead.”

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After Tuesday’s private vigil, it’s a road the community is determined not to let her walk alone.

“Community suffers loss, and it’s how you respond to it,” he said.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe for Katie to help pay her expenses.

So far, donors have raised $50,000. If interested, you can donate HERE.


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