The five young men involved in the fatal crash south of Union Thursday all were Union High School graduates.
Among those who were killed is Cole W. Weddle, 18, who had graduated from Union High School May 30.
James T. Curran. 19, Union; and Derek J. King, 19, Beaufort; were also killed in the crash. They graduated from UHS in 2012.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Curran was driving a 2001 Grand Prix southbound on Porterford Road at Cardinal Lane at 2:15 a.m. when the car left the road, struck a culvert and then a tree.
Authorities said the car caught fire after it struck the tree.
Union Ambulance and Union Fire Protection District crews responded to the scene after a witness called 911.
Two other passengers, Issac L. Clark, 19, Union; and Lucas D. Schulze, 19, Union, were seriously hurt in the crash, the patrol said.
Clark and Schulze also were members of the UHS Class of 2012.
Former UHS Principal Dennis Lottmann was principal when Curran, King, Schulze and Clark graduated. He also knew Weddle.
“They had zest for life type of personalities,” he said. “They enjoyed where they were and always had a good time.”
Lottmann, who is now the principal of Immaculate Conception Grade School, noted that all of them were very popular.
While at UHS, King played on the school baseball team. Weddle had worked with the football squad.
Curran was a “very intelligent kid,” according to Lottmann. He was attending University of Missouri, Columbia.
Clark is employed at Hagie’s Nineteen.
Schulze was taken to Mercy Hospital St. Louis by Union Ambulance. Clark was taken to Mercy Hospital Washington. Both injuries were reported as serious, the patrol said.
Curran and King were pronounced dead at the scene. Weddle was transported to Mercy Hospital St. Louis and was pronounced dead at 6:50 a.m.
Clark, King, Schulze and Weddle were not wearing seat belts, the patrol said. It is unknown if Curran was wearing a seat belt.