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The crash happened on Interstate 81 in Butler Township, Pa. (Google)

Three people from Quebec are dead after a crash on an eastern Pennsylvania highway early Saturday.

State police said the driver fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle, which slammed into a bridge support, killing three passengers.

The vehicle was heading north on Interstate 81 in Butler Township when it left the road at about 2:15 a.m., police said.

The vehicle went about 100 metres along a grass median, hit a dirt embankment, and flew about 30 metres before running into a concrete bridge support beneath the interstate.

None of the three dead — two of whom were in their 50s; the other was 17 — were wearing seatbelts, police said.

The 52-year-old driver and a 60-year-old passenger are being treated for broken bones.