Andre Bennett Sr., whose son Andrique was among those killed, said that his son and the others had all stayed over at a friend's house and that a girl offered them a ride home.
Chris Jones, 16, said he used to see most of the victims every day at school and in their neighborhood. He knew all but two in the crash.
"They're not always the best kids. They're not out there looking for straight A's," he said. "But none of these kids should be where they are today. This should have never had happened."
At a prayer service Monday night, Mayor Doug Franklin told about 200 people that lessons can be learned from the crash. He spoke about the young people who died and their grieving relatives.
"They're not unlike any other families and young people throughout our country," he said. "Some bad decisions were made that led to this tragic event."
Five of the dead were trapped inside the sunken SUV. A sixth was thrown from the vehicle and was found underneath it when it was taken out of the water.
State police identified them as the 19-year-old driver, Alexis Cayson; Andrique Bennett, 14; Brandon Murray, 14; and Kirklan Behner, Ramone White and Daylan Ray, all 15. Cayson, Murray and Ray drowned, the coroner said. Autopsies on the others were incomplete.
"All I know is my baby is gone," said Derrick Ray, who came to the crash site after viewing Daylan's body at the morgue. He said he knew that his son, a football player who was looking forward to playing in high school, was out with friends, but didn't know their plans.
None of the teens in the five-seat 1998 Honda Passport was wearing a seat belt, state police said.
Associated Press writers Tom Sheeran in Warren, John Seewer in Toledo, Dan Sewell in Cincinnati and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report.