Despite local speculation, there is no evidence the death of four teens in eastern New Brunswick is a result of street racing, say police.
Johnathan McIntyre and Devan Thompson, both 16, and Alexander Day and Medard Mazerolle, both 19, died after their vehicle skidded from the road and struck astone wallnear Richibucto on Monday night.
Residents on Route 134 reported seeing two vehicles that appeared to be racing one another just before the accident.
"I seen them racing," said Marie Chaisson, who lives on the road and was a friend of two of the victims. "I just got out of my car. The black car passed and then the red car and then I heard the big bang after. So I knew it was them and when I got here it was them."
It appears the black Nissan Maxima the four teens were in was passing another vehicle moments before the crash, said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Derek Strong.
The people in the other vehicle have since been interviewed by police and said there was no racing involved, Strong said.
"They weren't travelling together," he said. "So basically it was just one car was driving along obeying the rules and then it was suddenly passed by another vehicle."
The witnesses in the other car did say the Maxima was going "pretty fast," he said.
Three of the teens were thrown from the car in the accident and likely weren't wearing seatbelts, said police.
Strong said they aren't sure who was driving because of the ejections, and that the possibility alcohol was involved in the accident hasn't yet been ruled out.
Jesse Robichaud lives two doors down from where the car crashed into a stone wall in a driveway. He called 911 before rushing to the scene, where he found one of his friends lying outside of the vehicle. He began giving him CPR, but "it didn't work," Robichaud said.
All four teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Const. Paul Melanson has worked in the area for 11 years and said he hadn't seen a car in such bad shape following an accident.
All that was left of the vehicle is a pile of metal and scattered debris on surrounding property.
The wreckage of the vehicle was so mangled, area resident Paul Robichaud said, he couldn't tell whether it was from a car or truck.
Police said three of the victims were from St-Louis de Kent and one was from Rexton — both small, close-knit communities near Kouchibouguac National Park.
This is the second accident in the province in two months that has resulted in the death of four teens.
On Sept. 8, four 16-year-old boys were killed in a car while trying to pass another vehicle in a no-passing area outside Moncton. Their car slammed into an oncoming pickup truck.