Three young lives were cut short Thursday morning in a deadly crash in the eastern part of the state.
Kenneth Barki, 23, of Norwich; Jesse Robinson, 22, originally of Montville but who was living in Las Vegas; and 19-year-old Terence Garland, of Norwich, died when the driver lost control of the vehicle on Route 82 in Bozrah near the Norwich city line.
Neighbors said they heard the vehicle leave the road and strike trees near Nobel Hill Road around 1:30 a.m.
"As soon as I saw the car was destroyed, I knew it wasn't going to be good," said Keith LaFaille, an eyewitness. "The engine ended up behind the car in the woods. The interior compartment's seats, they were torn out, ejected into the woods."
LaFaille said he lived across the street from where the crash happened.
Troopers said all three occupants of the 1995 Mitsubishi 3000 GT were pronounced dead at the scene.The three local men were killed instantly and the medical examiner's office said they died of blunt force trauma.
What caused the crash still remains under investigation and a toxicology report, which would determine if drugs or alcohol were used, will not be complete for several weeks.
Kenneth Barki attended NFA Norwich Free Academy, and he was a member of the marching band, and was an English major at Eastern Connecticut State University.
"It was such a shock to me, especially at their young age, you know," said Alyssa Moody, 23, who worked with Barki at a local Stop and Shop. "It pulls at your heart strings whether you knew him for a long time or just a little bit, I know he touched a lot of people's lives."
Jessie Robinson was a popular student in Uncasville, and the car the three were riding in was registered to his mother.
Very little information was found about 19-year-old Terence Garland.
Route 82 was closed between Nobel Hill Road and Teddy Lane in Norwich for several hours. However, it has since reopened.
State police said they were still investigating how the crash happened. They said because of the force of the impact, they are looking at speed as a possible cause. Neighbors who live in that stretch of road said they wouldn't be surprised.
Anyone with information was asked to call them at 860-465-5400, ext. 4092.
Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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