Three people were killed in a snowmobile crash near Wainwright, Alta., Wednesday night.

RCMP said four snowmobiles were heading east around 9:45 p.m. when they went off a six-metre embankment and crashed onto the highway near the town of Edgerton.

"Part of it, we believe, is that they didn't think they were as close to the highway as they were," said Cpl. Jerry Nutbrown. "We think they had lost their bearings a little bit in the area they were at."

A 24-year-old woman and two men in their 20s died at the scene. Two others were treated at the hospital in Provost and released.

"It's a big tragedy. Edgerton's a small town," Nutbrown said.

Edgerton Mayor Barbara Sjoquist says the community is trying to come to terms with the loss.

"When any tragedy happens, whether it's one individual or three, it definitely impacts the entire community," she said. "We know each other. People feel it and they reach out to the families and they reach out to each other."

RCMP said alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. However, police noticed a case of beer strapped to one of the snowmobiles.

The medical examiner is expected to perform tests to determine the victims' level of alcohol consumption.