The deadly crash happened in Hillside in Union County.
Union police say they spotted the driver speeding in excess of 90 miles-an-hour before the accident, which happened around 2:30 a.m.
The car was travelling so fast that it split into two pieces after hitting a pole.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash, which happened near the town's border with Newark.
Accident investigators are looking into whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Killed were the 22-year-old driver, Luis Dossantos of East Newark, and two Kearny residents - 21-year-old Robinson Pinheiro, a backseat passenger who was ejected from the car, and 23-year-old Danilo Xavier, who was in the front passenger seat.
"He was a great guy. He helped his family out a lot. He wanted to go to school, make something of himself. He wanted to be an architect," Pinheiro's friend Giancarlo Cornejo said.
Two other backseat passengers were being treated at University Hospital in Newark.
Dossantos' sister-in-law Chamaee Cordova said, "He was young, full of energy, intelligent and just a wonderful person. It's a shock. It's very terrible."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.