UPDATED: Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
Four people were killed early Monday morning in Malverne when their car veered off the Southern State Parkway and slammed into several trees, according to reports.
The car had been traveling westbound when just before 4 a.m., the driver lost control and veered into the wooded area along the parkway near Exit 17, where the vehicle hit multiple trees.
The Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department, Nassau County and New York State Police were quickly on the scene.
Four of the vehicle's occupants had been ejected from the car and were found scattered in the wooded area along the parkway. They were pronounced dead on arrival. A fifth person survived and was transported to a local hospital by Nassau County Police. His or her condition is currently not known.
The vehicle was split into two separate pieces, landing feet from each other, Lakeview Fire Chief Heather Senti told Patch. A large section of the car was wedged between a tree and a chain-linked fence on Taylor Road.
Speaking to CBS News, one resident who was awakened by the impact of the car striking a nearby tree said:
"The minute they hit the tree, the house shook. We started hearing a bunch of popping sounds and we thought there were explosions or gun shots ... it turned out [it] was all the debris in the street, all the cars passing kept hitting it.”
The identities of the victims have not yet been released, but witnesses say they appeared to be young, in their late teens or early twenties. A PS3 video game, a test prep manual, sneakers, backpacks, iPod cases and smartphones were all found among the wreckage.
The crash shut down all westbound lanes of the parkway from Exits 17 to 19 for most of the morning as an accident investigation took place and firefighters were called back assist with the removal of the vehicle, and fuel and fluids that had spilled onto the roadway.
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