The vehicle careened off River Road in Pohatcong, in Warren County near the Pennsylvania border, just after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Two passengers, identified as 19-year-old Jon Gercie and 14-year-old Tanner Sember, died despite a frantic river rescue attempt in near darkness.
The vehicle was completely submerged in the river.
The driver, 18-year-old Luke Bebe, was taken to St. Luke's Hospital-Warren in Phillipsburg with injuries to his lower extremities, as well as fractured vertebrae
Bebe reportedly told police he swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle, lost control and went down the embankment into the river.
He described the other car as green with a possible New Jersey license plates.
Bebe said he was able to climb out of the vehicle and floated a short distance down the river before climbing up the embankment and calling for help.
Emergency personnel were able to remove the vehicle from the river, and both passengers were pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident.
All the victims are from Alpha, New Jersey.
The investigation is still ongoing, and police are asking anyone who might have information about the accident to call 908-454-9836.