Police in eastern New Brunswick say four teenagers died late Saturday when the vehicle they were in veered off a rural road, flipped over and landed on its roof in deep water.
The Miramichi Police Force says the crash happened around 10:30 p.m. on Nelson Street, south of Route 118.
Police say two males and two females were taken to Miramichi Regional Hospital where they later died of their injuries.
The police have identified the victims as Logan Matchett, 17, of Strathadam, N.B., Avery Astle, 16, of Strathadam N.B., Cassie Lloyd, 17, of Escuminac, N.B., and Emma Connick, 18, of Barnaby, N.B.
Police say there was “absolutely” no indication that alcohol or drugs are connected to the crash, which involved a 2016 Nissan Rogue registered to the Matchett family.
Officers say it was raining at the time of the incident and it is believed that speed and road conditions contributed to the crash.
Miramichi Mayor Adam Lordon said he was devastated when he heard about the deadly crash.
“My heart breaks for the four teens and their families,” Lordon said in a tweet.
“The love, support, and prayers of the whole Miramichi are with them today and always.”
Officials confirmed that two local high schools would be opened between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to give students an opportunity to meet with grief counsellors.
The Anglophone North School District confirmed that two of the victims attended James M. Hill Memorial High School in Miramichi, and the other two attended North and South Esk Regional High School in nearby Sunny Corner.
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Meredith Caissie, a spokeswoman for the Anglophone North School District, said the school authority is taking steps to help people cope.
“With everything that has happened over the last several hours, our concern and our thoughts are with the families, students and our school community,” she said in an interview from Miramichi.
“Our focus right now is providing support for our students and staff.”
Both schools issued virtually identical statements on Facebook.
“In difficult times like what we are now experiencing, it is important to support one another, and to look after one another,” the statement said.
“We encourage our students to reach out for any support they may need at this time.”
With files from Alexander Quon