Police said extremely high speed played a role in a crash that left two Hartford teenagers dead, and another injured early Thursday morning.
Hartford police said they responded to the area of Main Street and Albany Avenue after getting word of a car lamming straight into a building around 1:30 a.m.
When police arrived at the scene they said they saw a car on the curb on Main Street engulfed in flames. Inside, police said, were two people seated in the driver's and passenger seats.
"I heard a loud screeching sound and then it ended with a big bang," said Jeslyn Seyon of Hartford.
The third teen in the car was able to free himself from the vehicle before it went up in flames.
"It was like a big ball of flames," Seyon said. "It was in the car, outside the car, just it was engulfed in flames."
Witnesses told police they saw the car traveling south on Main Street at an "extremely high rate of speed" before the crash and fire.
The intersection of Main Street, Albany Avenue and Ann Uccello was closed while police investigated the incident.
A memorial was setup at the location of the crash and visited by a steady stream of people Thursday.
"I don't know," said Frank Bell. "I can't say anything more."
Bell could only talk about his 15-year-old niece for a minute before getting too emotional. He said she and an 18-year-old male died in the crash. Friends and family said the other teenager was also 18 years old.
"I was shocked to see such a big accident right here," said Brandon Jones of Hartford.
Investigators add the car was owned by the mother of one of the 18-year-olds. The 18-year-old teenager, who died, was driving, according to police.
Friends said the two young men and the 15-year-old girl in the crash are from Hartford, in the Martin Street neighborhood, in the city's north end.
At this point, police do not know if they died on impact or from the fire. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Police are still working on getting the identities of the crash victims, and they are awaiting autopsy results to learn precisely how they died.
"This is something you never think and I wish on nobody," Bell said.
Bell said his niece had big plans. She just started school at the Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin College. It's principal released a statement on Thursday.
"We have offered our support to students and teachers who have been impacted by this sad news, and we will continue to offer support and counsel to anyone who needs it tomorrow," said Linda Dadona, who is the principal at the Connecticut River Academy.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call police.
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