Memorial held for teen crushed by tree branch near Oakland's Fairyland

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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A unique memorial was held on the water Tuesday to remember and honor a teen boy named Jack Lewis who was crushed by tree branch near Lake Merritt's Fairyland in Oakland earlier this month.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Friends of an Oakland teen killed by a falling tree branch near Lake Merritt's Fairyland earlier this month held a very unique memorial for him.

Jack Lewis was a member of the crew team at Oakland Technical High School, so his coaches and teammates decided to honor him on the water.

They brought flowers and rowed up to Jack London Square where they had a chance to write a note, a memory or wish to Lewis on a lantern. There was also some quiet time out on the water to reflect on the young man who was killed by a tree branch that snapped off, crushed him on December 4.

Lewis' coach told ABC7 News he was a great teammate, but an even better person. "Jack was adaptable and a real vital member of the team in rowing. Outside of the rowing he was just always looking to have fun. He was always smiling, he was a little bit of a clown you know for the team and that was him," Jeremiah Dees said.

VIDEO: Police ID teen crushed by tree branch near Oakland's Fairyland

Oakland city officials are investigating the exact cause of the tree failure that killed Lewis.

Arborists around the Bay Area warn that trees and branches may be especially vulnerable this winter after four years of drought.

After rowing out to Jack London Square, team members returned to the dock to release lanterns and flowers on the water.

A funeral service for Lewis will be held at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Oakland on Thursday.

VIDEO: Teen crushed by tree branch near Oakland's Fairyland