Two central Massachusetts towns are reeling after three teenage students were killed when their car went off the road, hit a tree and rolled over.
The two girls and one boy killed in Tuesday's crash were students at Quaboag Regional Middle High School, which serves Warren and West Brookfield, around 20 miles west of Worcester.
They were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened around 3:30 p.m. on Douglas Road in West Brookfield.
"I feel so bad for the parents of those kids. My heart goes out to them," said Laurie Jamilowski, who lives near the crash scene.
"They're all so young, and that's the problem," said a woman named Barbara, whose daughter was best friends with the driver, 16-year-old Lena Noonan.
Officials have not released the names of the victims, but family members told NBC Boston that Noonan, 14-year-old Jaclyn Desrosiers and 15-year-old Christian Congelos died in the crash.
"These three particular individuals were exceptional kids. They were great kids," said James Gagner, chairman of the Warren Board of Selectmen.
Congelos's family described the sophomore as "an amazing athelete who was beloved by his family and friends. He was just a great kid."
Parents of other students at the school said their children are remembering their classmates' spirits.
"I think it's real tragic - my children knew them," parent Sue Deleon said.
"I just hope that all the kids can come together and be there for each other, be there for the families and show as much support as they can," parent Danielle Mastaj added.
School Superintendent Brett Kustigian said that while he is "heartbroken and saddened" for the school community, he's also encouraged by the strength and resiliency being shown by students and staff.
"This has been a difficult day for all of our schools," he said. "Quaboag is a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows each other and a tragedy of this magnitude affects all of us."
A vigil was held on Wednesday night at the West Brookfield Town Common.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.