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The Latest: Police ID 5 teenagers killed in wrong-way crash

October 09, 2016 - 4:31 PM

WILLISTON, Vt. - The Latest on a wrong-way crash that killed five Vermont high school students (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Vermont State Police have released the identities of five high school students killed in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver in Williston, Vermont.

The teenagers were all riding in one car when a man driving the wrong way on an interstate highway crashed into them.

The co-principal of Harwood Union High School, in Duxbury, said four of the five teenagers were juniors there. She said the fifth was also a junior but at a different school. She called the deaths "an unprecedented tragedy" and said all five were vibrant members of the community with bright futures.

The victims were identified as: 16-year-old Mary Harris; 16-year-old Cyrus Zschau; 16-year-old Liam Hale; 15-year-old Janie Cozzi; and 16-year-old Eli Brookens.

A vigil has been planned at Harwood Union High School, in Moretown, for 6 p.m. Monday.

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4:30 p.m.

A school co-principal says the five teenagers killed in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver in Williston, Vermont, were all high school juniors.

Harwood Union Middle and High School co-Principal Amy Rex says four of the five attended Harwood Union High School in Duxbury. She says the fifth victim is from the community, but attends a different school.

Rex says the deaths were "an unprecedented tragedy" and that all were vibrant members of the community with bright futures.

Rex did not respond to calls for further information.

Police say the victims were hit by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning. The car hit was found in flames.

A man who allegedly stole a police cruiser from the crash scene is facing charges, but police haven't said if he was driving the wrong-way vehicle.

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11:30 a.m.

Vermont State Police say a man driving the wrong way on an interstate highway crashed into a car, killing five people. Minutes later in the same area, a man stole a police cruiser and struck seven vehicles, injuring several people while driving the wrong way.

It was unclear if the same person was responsible for all of the crashes. But police apprehended 36-year-old Steven Bourgoin at the scene early Sunday on Interstate 89 in Williston.

Local media outlets are reporting the dead were teenagers.

Police say dispatchers began receiving reports just before midnight that a vehicle was travelling north in the south lane of the interstate. They say the first car struck burst into flames.

Authorities say none of the injuries caused by the police cruiser appeared to be life-threatening.

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5:30 a.m.

Vermont State Police say five people have been killed after a wrong-way driver caused several crashes on Interstate 89 in Williston.

Vermont State Police Capt. Mike Henry tells the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/2dWOKFk ) the crash happened early Sunday morning. Henry says a man was travelling northbound in the southbound lane on the interstate between exits 11 and 12 when he collided with another car.

Williston police arrived to investigate, and the man exited his truck and stole a police cruiser and headed south toward Richmond. When Richmond police attempted to intercept him, the suspect made a U-turn and again headed north in southbound lanes.

The suspect later collided with about seven vehicles and was ejected from the cruiser, which ignited into flames.

Five people were pronounced dead at the scene.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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