Police say a Cadillac CTS was headed eastbound on Route 22 in Newark when the driver somehow lost control just before 11 p.m.
Two people, later identified as 19-year-old Taylor Hill and 18-year-old Kamal Johnson, were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead immediately after the crash.
A third victim, 20-year-old Nashawn Brooks, was also ejected and later died Wednesday afternoon at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingstone.
Two females in the car, including the 19-year-old driver, suffered life-threatening injuries and are hospitalized in critical condition.
WATCH: Video from the scene along Route 22
Hundreds gathered for a vigil at Irvington High School Thursday night for Brooks, who Wagner College confirmed was a rising sophomore and a member of the football team.
He was named Irvington High School's male athlete of the year in 2019 and was majoring in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in information systems.
"This is an unimaginable, tragic loss," Wagner College President Joel Martin said. "Nashawn was known for his energy, humor and work ethic. He was a curious learner and excited about all there was to discover in this world. He will forever be part of the fabric of Wagner College."
Brooks was involved with the police department and was a cadet with the fire department's explorer program.
The last time his mother spoke to him was the night before the crash -- and she never got to say goodbye or tell him she loved him.
"He was not only stellar on the football field and in the classroom, but he was also our prom king which tells you that everybody liked him enough to vote for him for that. He was everybody's friend. The entire town, the entire school is hurting from this," said athletic director John Taylor.
Family and friends of Hill and Johnson put up a memorial at Newark's Arts High School, where the two where known for dancing. Many have come by to express their sadness.
Gov. Phil Murphy said at a press conference Wednesday that the victims were on their way back from Point Pleasant Beach, where over 1,000 people had gathered Tuesday night on the beach.
The investigation is active and ongoing, but authorities say the preliminary investigation indicates that speed does not appear to be a factor in the crash.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office will investigate the crash.
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