LEAGUE CITY, Texas (FOX 26) - League City couple, Greg and Julie Boaz, were killed in a plane crash Sunday night in Detroit. Their son, Peyton, 17, is the only survivor. His friends are now rallying in support for the family, setting up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his hospital bills.
Rex Webb, Joshua Holland and Sophia Nilssen are some of Peyton's closest friends. They say they're worried the Clear Falls High School senior won't be the same after this tragic incident.
"He's going to be a different person after this. To lose your dad and stepmom like that and be involved in such a violent incident-- that changes you," Webb said.
Video captured by eyewitnesses at the crash scene, show the plane was fully engulfed in flames by the time rescue teams arrived. Peyton can be seen running out of the plane. He was rushed to a Detroit hospital in critical condition.
"He has third degree burns, smoke in his lungs, and he's a mess. The burns I know are mostly on his back and legs," Nilssen said.
Although the three friends hail from different parts of Peyton's life, they're all coming together in support of the 17-year-old.
The three describe Peyton as a supportive, kind and goofy person that often reached out to others when no one else seemed to care. He even nicknamed himself, 'teddy bear,' to poke fun at his soft and sensitive side.
"He would also say, 'Sorry for bothering you with the teddy bear stuff.' I guess now it's my turn to be a teddy bear," Webb said.
"Once when we were at band practice, I was having a rough time. Peyton stopped what he was doing and he came over and cheered me up. He made a joke. It was funny and I didn't cry," Holland said.
As Peyton remains at a Detroit hospital, fighting to fully recover after this deadly crash, his friends are just hoping to return the favor to their favorite teddy bear.
"He gives a 110 percent of his time to helping other people and it's our turn to show him he's loved he's appreciated," Nilssen said.
Nilssen said Peyton was scheduled to have his first surgery Wednesday. Doctors said they're confident Peyton will make a full recovery.
Greg and Julie Boaz are the owners of Lone Star Grill and Palapas restaurant in Bacliff. In a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page on Monday, Lone Star Grill's management team said, "We are honoring Greg's memory by re-opening the restaurant and continuing business as usual starting tomorrow (Tuesday, June 26), as he would want us to do. We appreciate your continued prayers and support for the Boaz family, Lone Star Grill family and Palapas family as we move forward after this tragic event."