Four young men, including brothers and a U.S. Marine, died when their sedan slammed into a tanker truck along the Garden State Parkway the morning after Christmas, family members and police said.
The deadly crash happened around 2:50 a.m. Wednesday when 21-year-old Kevin Quispe-Prieto, of Beachwood, slammed his Infiniti G37 sedan into the back of a tanker truck on the right hand lane of the southbound Parkway at milepost 81.5 near Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey State Police said.
Quispe-Prieto died at the scene as did his 23-year-old brother Jimmy Quispe-Prieto, 24-year-old Victor Lugo and 23-year-old Robert Ordenana, 23, all of Lakewood, New Jersey, police said.
Ordenana was a U.S. Marine, his family said. The Department of Defense said Marine Lance Cpl. Ordenana was a rifleman with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa. It's not clear how long he served, nor were details of his service immediately known.
The tanker driver, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, called 911 after being struck, law enforcement sources said.
More than three hours after the wreck, the right lane remained blocked as crews worked to remove the damaged sedan and truck. The scene was cleared by 8:30 a.m.
Chopper footage from the scene showed what appeared to be a small, white car sticking out at an angle from the right rear corner of the tanker. It wasn't clear where the young men were headed at the time of the crash.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Law enforcement sources said speed appeared to be a factor. There is also a hump in the highway approaching the crash scene that has been blamed for past rear-end crashes, sources said.
Correction: This story has been updated to show that the crash occurred in Toms River as per state police.