UPDATE - 3 local teens killed in crash, fire
Bennington Police Lt. Lloyd Dean said Aaron Sprague, 17, of North Bennington, Arthur Eriksen, 17, of Bennington, and a 15-year-old male whose name was not released, were killed in the crash.
The crash, which occurred on Overlea Road about 300 yards from where it intersects with Vermont Route 7A, is believed to have been caused by excessive speed, Dean said. The crash remains under investigation.
According to Dean, the three teenagers were heading east toward Route 7A in a 2000 Subaru Legacy when crashed into a tree, causing the vehicle to catch on fire. Police did not say who was driving.
Police were dispatched to the scene following a 911 call at 12:10 a.m. A Vermont state trooper was first to arrive, followed by a Bennington police officer.
Dean said police attempted to extinguish the flames, which were ultimately put out by the Bennington Rural Fire Department. Police then found the three males deceased inside the vehicle.
Dean said police were unable to find any information identifying the victims. All three bodies were removed from the vehicle and will undergo autopsies today at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington.
The crash and resulting fire eliminated identifying information from the vehicle, dean said.
"If there was a plate on it was melted off," he said. "We have all of our resources going right now to come up with some identification or any information."
Dean said the crash victims were identified through articles of clothing by family members. He said police will rely on dental records for positive identification.
No evidence of alcohol was seen by police at the crash scene, according to Dean. Police will rely on toxicology tests to rule out alcohol as a factor, he said.
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