DAMASCUS, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland community is reeling from the loss of three high schoolers, who died after their pickup ran off the road. The teens had just left a pre-graduation celebration.

Instead of celebration, there’s now mourning in Montgomery County.

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Ava-joye Burnett attended a vigil for the teens.

It’s a reality no one wanted to wake up to — Tuesday night, three Clarksburg High juniors were killed in a devastating crash after their pickup slammed into a tree.

“Yeah. I just could not comprehend it. I just didn’t want it to be real,” said Alyssa Worthman, friend.

Jacob Dennis, 17, Patrick Shifflett, 18, and Cary Greene, 17, had just left a pre-graduation celebration.

teens killed crash

Dennis, who had a provisional license, was driving when the pickup ran off Burn Hill Road.

“There are no street lights on that road. He was going fast enough where he couldn’t negotiate the curve,” said Capt. Thomas Didone, Montgomery County Police Department.

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Police say at least two of the three were wearing seat belts, but there were no air bags in the truck.

“I was picking up metal and stuff that I can remember Jacob by. I was supposed to work on his truck and put a 6.0 power stroke motor in it, but I can’t do that anymore because now he’s gone,” said Brandon Connolly, friend.

Shifflett and Dennis played varsity football at Clarksburg High School. Greene, who had recently transferred, planned to join his friends on the team this fall.

“I was the principal of Rocky Hill Middle School when these young men were in middle school, and so I have known them since they were 11 years old.”

Just hours after graduation Wednesday, hundreds came together to comfort each other and the grieving families.

“Like, if I was having a bad day, I’m walking the hallways and I see one out of three of them or all of them and they just brought a smile to my face,” Worthman said.

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Investigators believe speed and inexperience were factors in the crash. There’s no indication alcohol played a role.