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Metro Atlanta school to host prayer vigil to honor former teacher, coach killed along with 3 family members in coastal Georgia boat crash

Chris Leffler taught and coached sports for five years at King's Ridge Christian School before recently moving to Savannah.

ATLANTA — A vigil will be held Tuesday night in Alpharetta to remember four family members from the same family that died after a boat crash in Chatham County and also pray for a family member who survived.

The vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at the King's Ridge Christian School student center.

51-year-old Chris Leffler taught history at King's Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta for five years. He also coached football and in the past year, he helped the school start its wrestling team. 

A video online captured Coach Leffler last December describing the new team. 

"This is a great opportunity for the boys to learn grit, fortitude, personal responsibility," he said.

Leffler recently began teaching at Calvary Day School in Savannah. 

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, on Saturday two boats heading in opposite directions collided on the Wilmington River near the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.

A total of nine people were on the two boats, including the Leffler family. 

Chris, his wife Lori, 50, and sons Zachary, 23, and Nathan, 17, all died. Robert Chauncey, 37, of Savannah, also died as a result of the crash. 

The Leffler's daughter, Katie survived, along with three other people. 

A 45-year-old Savannah resident was arrested and charged with boating under the influence. According to Georgia DNR, the cause of the crash is unknown and the incident is still under investigation. 

"We are going to pray for Chris and Lori and also Nate and Zach and also Katie, especially Katie who has a big burden to bear," said Edward Spurka, the Head of King's Ridge Christian School.

On Saturday afternoon, Spurka received a phone call about the crash.

"I was heartbroken," he said. "I was with my wife and we were just stunned and shocked, and you go through the process that you want more information but it wasn't coming out yet."    

Spurka told 11Alive that Leffler's role as a rather impacted how he taught. The Leffler family recently moved to Savannah where Chris was teaching at Calvary Day School. 

"He was a father figure where he counseled kids," Spurka said of Leffler as a teacher. "He challenged them in the classroom and he loved on them. Every day he brought that passion, so when he spoke in class the passion and his love for his kids, his love for his content, and his love for our school just came naturally for him. It was very easy for him to be his best version of himself at school."

Now King's Ridge and Calvary Day are working together with the focus of standing by Katie, the surviving Leffler. 

"We are going to work together to support Katie and the family no matter what they need, we are going to join hands and figure something out," Spurka said.

Online Calvary Day has launched the Leffler family memorial fund to aid Katie.

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