The teenage driver whose car crashed on Interstate 84 in Southington, killing her and a 14-year-old passenger, did not have a driver's license, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
AnnMarie "Annie" Angelina Olender, 16, of the Plantsville section of Southington, was behind the wheel around 2 p.m. Tuesday when her car flipped over on I-84 eastbound and rolled down an embankment, hitting a tree. Olender and passenger Olivia Fusco, 14, of Southington, were both killed.
Police said the teens were both wearing seat belts, but the airbags did not deploy. It's not clear what caused Olender to veer off the road.
DMV officials said Olender only had a learner's permit, which she received April 22, just about three months prior to the crash that killed her.
State law requires teens with permits to drive with either an instructor, parent or other person over the age of 20 giving driving lessons. Unlicensed drivers are not allowed to drive with any other passengers.
Southington Superintendent Timothy F. Connellan sent out a statement to parents, teachers and staff on Wednesday mourning the loss of "two young members of our school community" who died in a "tragic accident."
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these two students and we grieve with them for their loss," Connellan said.
Southington is offering grief counseling through the town's Youth Services program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Wednesday through Friday at Southington High School and Southington Municipal Center. Counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available to those who need them.
Connellan said students, parents or guardians, faculty and staff can also reach out to Southington High School and Kennedy Middle School administrators or Southington Youth Services staff with concerns.
Community members will gather for a vigil at the Southington High School softball field from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Olender's family.