What to Know
- Four people died in a collision involving a car and tanker truck on the Garden State Parkway early Wednesday
- All four victims -- young men no older than 24 -- were pronounced dead at the scene
- A cause of the crash is under investigation, but sources tell News 4 speed appeared to have been a factor
Four friends no older than 24, including two brothers and a U.S. Marine, died in a collision involving a car and an oil tanker on the Garden State Parkway early Wednesday, family members and authorities say.
All four victims -- 21-year-old Kevin Quispe-Prieto, of Beachwood, and his 23-year-old brother Jimmy, of Lakewood; 24-year-old Victor Lugo and 23-year-old Robert Ordenana, also of Lakewood, were in the wrecked car, authorities said. They were all pronounced dead at the scene on the southbound side of the parkway by mile marker 81.5, near Toms River.
Kevin Quispe-Prieto, who graduated last year from Ocean County College with a computer science degree, according to a surviving brother, was the driver. Law enforcement sources tell News 4 he may have been speeding when he smashed into the back of the tanker. Everyone in the sedan died.
Ordenana was a U.S. Marine, his family confirmed. According to the Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps 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 truck driver suffered minor injuries, authorities said. He was the one who called 911, reporting someone had hit him shortly before 3 a.m., law enforcement sources said. His name has not been released.
Law enforcement sources say the particular stretch of the Garden State Parkway where the accident happened is notorious for speeding-related crashes. There was no immediate statistic available on the annual number of such accidents, but the sources say speeding drivers approach a hump in the roadway and can't see the vehicles ahead of them; they end up rear-ending vehicles moving at the appropriate speed limit on the other side of the hump, the sources said.
Chopper 4 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.
There were some lane closures in the area for a time as authorities investigated. It was cleared by mid-morning. The crash remains under investigation.