Shock has settled over the rural Cape Breton communities of Judique and Port Hood after three young men died in a car crash Monday night.

Logan Patrick MacIntyre, 17, Morgan Christopher MacIntyre, 19 — both from Judique — and 20-year-old Joel Cecil Chandler, from Port Hood, died when the car they were travelling in went off the road and flipped over.

There were seven people packed into the car.

Police said an 18-year-old male and a 19-year-old male from the Judique area and a 21-year-old female from Isle Madame remain in hospital with serious injuries.

All but the driver were thrown from the car.

Evan Jardine, who was one of the first people on the scene, described the scene as chaotic. He said he spoke to Morgan Christopher MacIntyre's twin brother, Mitchell, who survived the crash.

'They are all a mess, all a mess. They feel so bad.' — Peggy Marple

"The only people I recognized were the twins, the MacIntyres. Mitchell, immediately, he just said, 'Where am I? What happened?' We said, 'You were in an accident on Shore Road,'" Jardine recounted Wednesday.

"He just instantly only cared about where his twin was. He said, 'Where is my twin at, please tell me he's OK.'"

Donald Beaton, the chief of the Port Hood Volunteer Fire Department, said the tragedy could have been even worse.

"When you look at it, it could have been seven rather than three with the way they were spread out up there. It's just devastating to everyone, especially when I knew them all here. They were around the garage all the time and my son hung around with them," he said.

"I'm just fortunate enough he wasn't with them that night."

Peggy Marple, a medical first responder with the Port Hood Volunteer Fire Department who arrived on scene shortly after the crash, told CBC News the 16-year-old driver and his family are distraught after the accident.

"The father is devastated and probably will never ever get over what he's gone through with his child now," she said.

"They are all a mess, all a mess. They feel so bad."

Police have not said if they'll lay charges. They're waiting for an accident report and haven't ruled out whether alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.