3 Dead After Car Smashes Into NJ Elementary School

Officials have not released the names of the victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Three people died after their car crashed into a New Jersey elementary school overnight. (Published Thursday, Feb 17, 2011)

    Tow men and a woman died after their car slammed into a New Jersey elementary school Thursday were not wearing their seatbelts, investigators say.

    Deputy Chief Michael Mohel of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office says the pre-dawn impact left a 6-by-6 foot hole in the brick wall adjacent to the media room the Pine Beach Elementary school.

    Killed were Matthew Budesa of Pine Beach, who was driving, and front-seat passenger Kimberly VanGorden of Beachwood. Both were 20 years old. The other man's identity was not immediately disclosed.

    One of the men was found in the driver's seat of the black 2011 Hyundai Accent, the other in the back of the car and the female was in the passenger's seat.

    None of the the three victims had been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, authorities said. 

    Cops told NJ.com one of the victims was a Pine Beach resident and the other two were "local."

    Chopper video showed what appeared to be about a dozen firefighters and emergency personnel standing around a blue tarp on the ground near a black tow truck. An ambulance and other emergency vehicles were nearby. 

    Mohel says a school employee found the car around 6:45 a.m. The school was not open and no students were present. The identity of the employee who discovered the grisly scene wasn't immediately known.

    The accident remains under investigation and autopsies are planned.

    The school delayed opening by 90 minutes. Tammi Millar, director of communications for the Toms River Regional School District, told NJ.com that no specific arrangements for grief counseling had been made but that counselors would be available if any of the school's 450 students needed it.