3 Killed in Crash on Garden State Parkway; 4 Hurt

Surviving passengers listed in critical condition after tragedy strikes on Fourth of July.

Monday, Jul 4, 2011  |  Updated 7:24 PM EDT
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Three people were killed in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway.

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State Police have identified the three young teenagers killed in the Garden State Parkway crash early Monday.

Chrystoph Iliopoulos, 13; Eric Colligan, 15; and Hlias Iliopoulos, 18, all of Staten Island, died when their vehicle flipped over several times in Middletown Township just after 5 a.m.

The other occupants of the car were injured in the crash. They have been identified as Dimitrios Iliopoulos, 54; Stavroula Iliopoulos, 51; Fotiny Iliopoulos, 20; and Vincent Whiteaker, 25; all from Staten Island.

A preliminary investigation reveals a 2003 Gray Ford Expedition with the seven passengers was traveling north in the express lane when the driver, Dimitrios Iliopoulos, lost control and drifted to the right, striking the guardrail, authorities say. 

The vehicle continued moving north along the guardrail and flipped over at least twice, police say.

As the car flipped, five of the passengers -- two women, Stavroula Iliopoulos and Fotiny Iliopoulos, and the three male teens -- were ejected onto the center median and the northbound local lanes. The three teens ejected from the SUV died, police said.

Dimitrios Iliopoulos and the right front passenger, both adult men, were not ejected. They, along with Stavroula Iliopoulos and Fotiny Iliopoulos, who were flung from the car, are listed in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

All northbound local and express lanes along a roughly 10-mile stretch of the parkway were closed for nearly five hours as emergency services crews worked to aid the injured and clear the accident scene. All lanes were reopened shortly before 10 a.m., but residual traffic delays continued throughout the morning.     

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