Friend: Boat Crash Victims Fishing in Heaven

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Tuesday, family and friends of two young men killed in a boat crash gathered at Lake Murray to remember them and their favorite hobby: Bass fishing. NBC 7’s Liberty Zabala shares the touching tribute a friend created for their families.

    Friends say two bass fishing buddies died doing what they love.

    Jeff Ingram, 21, and Russell Mendez, 20, were killed after two boats collided Thursday along the north arm of El Capitan Reservoir in the East County.

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    On Tuesday, a memorial vigil was held at Lake Murray.

    One friend said the pair loved fishing so much, Mendez recently purchased his own boat and Ingram took out a loan on a new truck so they could tow the boat.

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    “I'm sure they're up in heaven fishing, catching double-digit bass every time and having the best time of their lives that those two boys could have together fishing,” said bass fishing guide Joe Marshall.

    Marshall created a touching tribute -- a video of his two friends -- that he hopes will help the families heal.

    “It was very hard for me to find the proper song to play in the memorial video. Every song that I thought was appropriate made me cry, made me bawl,” Marshall said. “At first, I was heartbroken, devastated, angry, all those emotions all at once."

    Friends said Ingram was always happy and highly motivated. Marshall said he will never forget Mendez’s elephant-sized smile.

    Ingram’s brother set up an online fundraising page to pay off Ingram’s new truck. However, the loan financing company offered to rewind the deal and take back the truck. So now, the families plan to use the donations to cover funeral costs.

    Anything left over will be given to a non-profit fishing organization for kids in San Diego.

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