ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A fiery single-car accident in west St. Louis County claimed the lives of three teenagers and left two injured early Sunday morning.
The St. Louis County Police Department says they are investigating the fatal crash that happened near Kiefer Creek Road and Forest Valley Drive. Five teenagers were inside, all between the ages of 15 and 16.
A little after 4 a.m., officers arrived at the scene to find a Nissan Maxima fully engulfed in flames, the department said.
Police said the car had been traveling eastbound when it left the roadway, struck a tree, then caught fire.
Two boys and a girl died at the scene. In a Monday morning update, police identified the victims:
- Cole Anello, 16, of Manchester (driver)
- Rhegan Sajben, 15, of Wildwood
- Jacob Keifer, 15, of Ballwin
A boy and girl, both 16, were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. They are both expected to survive, police said.
In a statement, De Smet High School identified Cole Anello as a student and soccer player at the school. The statement is as follows:
"The De Smet Jesuit community is heartbroken by the loss of Cole Anello. We offer prayers for Cole, the other victims of this terrible tragedy, their families, and friends. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Marquette High School community.
"Our counselors, faculty, and staff, are already supporting and caring for students and will continue to provide whatever they need in the days and weeks ahead."
In its own statement, the Rockwood School District identified the other four teens involved in the crash as Marquette High School students:
"The Rockwood School District is shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic accident that resulted in the loss of two of our students and severe injuries to two more of our students from Marquette High School. Our sincere thoughts and sympathies are with the families, educators and friends who knew and loved these young people. We have assembled our crisis team at Marquette and will have counselors on hand this week for students and staff who will need assistance. We will also be supporting the families and friends of our injured students to ensure they have the assistance they need. Our hearts also go out to those who are mourning the loss of the other person involved in this tragic event."
The St. Louis County Police Department is asking anyone that wants to speak to investigators about any information regarding the incident to call 636-529-8210.