An SUV carrying five family members and two friends back from a holiday weekend trip to Atlantic City crashed on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel Monday, killing two teenage brothers and their 15-year-old friend.
Four people survived the accident, though a mother and daughter remain in critical condition. Sadly, police say the three young men who died could've been saved if they had been wearing their seat belts.
The 2003 gray Ford Expedition crashed shortly after 5 a.m., flipping over and throwing several of the victims out of the SUV and onto the road.
Authorities say 18-year-old Hlias Iliopoulos, his 13-year-old brother Chrystoph Iliopoulos and their 15-year-old friend Eric Colligan were pronounced dead at the scene. Iliopoulous' 20-year-old sister Fontiny, her 25-year-old fiance Vincent Whiteaker and her parents, 51-year-old Stavroula Iliopoulos and 54-year-old Dimitrios Iliopoulos, were rushed to the hospital.
Neighbors were sick over the loss.
"I can't believe this happened," neighbor Manny River said. "It's a bad dream I can't wake up from."
"It's hard to see on your block, with your neighbors," Danielle Callan said. "It's very upsetting."
State Police Capt. Frank Davis says a car passing at a high speed may have scared the driver and caused him to lose control and slam into the guardrail. The speeding car may have been black or dark-colored BMW or Mercedes-Benz.