Friends and family grieving victims of Manchester fatal crash

MANCHESTER — A devastating car crash early Saturday night claimed the lives of three young people in Manchester.  Monday, more than 48 hours after that crash, the grieving continues.

Throughout the day friends and family members of the three crash victims gathered at the accident site on Center Street in Manchester, where a make shift memorial has been set up.

Police said the car was traveling eastbound on Center Street when it hit the utility pole shortly before 1:30 a.m., and the car immediately went up in flames, killing three of the five people inside. Two other people in the car were hospitalized with injuries not considered life threatening.

Police say the vehicle crashed into a pole and became engulfed in flames. All three people who died were in the rear seat, while the survivors were in the front.

Kaitlyn Kessler held on to friends tightly, breaking down in tears as she described the horrifying images of her friend’s car going up in flames right before her eyes.  She explained she witnessed the crash from a car that was following behind.

"My body is torn, my heart, I can't feel nothing, I can't eat.  You witness it you see it so it’s like… it's hard it is hard for everybody,” Kessler said.  She described the three as cheerful, loving friends who were always there to make others smile.

“They were amazing people all three of them,” Kessler said.

The victims include one current Manchester High School student and two former students.  School representatives told FOX61 they had support services on hand Monday as well as therapy dogs for the students who are still in mourning.

“You just can't believe it’s real I just want to wake up and see them get a text messages, phone calls,” Kessler said about the pain that lingers.

During the day Monday, friends wore buttons with the victim’s images on them all consoling each other.  Nonnie Douglas, close friend of the victims, said she also spent some time Monday trying to comfort the young, one year old son of one of the women killed in the crash.

“I couldn’t do nothing but hug him and when I was hugging him he just started patting my back like he just know everything is going to be alright,” Douglas said.

Manchester police said they are waiting to confirm the victim’s identities with the Office of the Medical Examiner before they release them publically.  Sgt. Stephen Bresciano of the department’s traffic unit also told FOX61 the investigation into the cause of the crash also continues, but says they believe speed is a factor.

“You can't cause that kind of damage to a vehicle without some kind of significant force generated by the speed,” Sgt. Bresciano said.

He also said that with any deadly crash police also look into whether alcohol use, age of the driver, experience of the driver, or mechanical defects of the car were possibilities for a cause.