The community of Cap-Pele, N.B., is reeling after four teens who called the small town home were killed in a single vehicle crash overnight.
The RCMP said three 18-year-olds and one 17-year-old died near Notre Dame, N.B., after their vehicle left Route 115, rolling over before crashing into a culvert.
Three of the teens were ejected from the vehicle; all four were declared dead at the scene.
Debbie Dodier, mayor of Cap-Pele, says residents in the town are reeling with the sudden loss.
“Right now all the people are in shock, still in disbelief. A month before Christmas, there is never really a good time to lose a child,” Dodier told CTV News Channel.
“This is really a hit for us. We’re 2,300 people in the municipality and we’ve got four youngsters that died from this small community, so of course we’re still in shock. Our prayers and our thoughts right now are with the families,” she said.
Dodier, who is also a school principal in Cap-Pele, said she knew all four boys.
“They were good kids, good-hearted kids. They were good friends, the four of them. They played hockey, they played soccer, they had trikes, they were those typical guys that we all loved to have,” she said.
Emilie O’Brien went to school with the boys and lives close to the crash site.
“We always used to walk to school together. We were like a close gang of friends,” O’Brien told CTV Atlantic.
She said she heard about the accident on social media and decided to visit the scene Saturday to offer support to friends and family members.
“Just to pay tribute to them, to be here and just see what happened and just be here with friends and help friends out.”
New Brunswick Premier David Alward also offered his sympathies to the victims' families.
"I am deeply saddened by news of the fatal collision in Notre-Dame," Alward said in a statement.
"I extend heartfelt sympathies to the parents, families, friends and communities of the young men who died. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."
The RCMP have said highway conditions were good at the time of the crash.
Cpl. Mario Maillet told The Canadian Press that speed was a factor in the crash, but the investigation is ongoing.
Autopsies will be conducted on Monday