GRISWOLD, Conn. Grief counselors were working with high school students in a small Connecticut town Wednesday morning, a day after a car crash killed four students and critically injured another, the superintendent said.
The accident Tuesday afternoon along a tree-lined road involved a Griswold High School senior, three juniors and a sophomore, town officials said.
Three died at the scene and a fourth died at a local hospital. The fifth remained hospitalized.
"When five students are involved in a situation like this, it affects everybody," Superintendent of Schools Paul Freeman said in an interview. "It's a huge loss to our community and everybody in our school and everybody in our town is feeling it right now."
Griswold, located in rural part of the state about 40 miles southeast of Hartford, has 12,000 residents, and about 750 students attend the high school.
Freeman said the school administration coordinated with police and the fire department to arrange support for students and teachers as classes resumed Wednesday.
He said the mood at the school as "very quiet" and everyone was shocked. "We know that we've suffered a terrible loss," he said. "We told our students today that it's important for them to talk to each other, to talk to the staff members who are around them and to allow us to help them get through the day."
Police have said the driver lost control and hit a tree.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash, and the victims' identities have not been released.
"We'll examine everything and anything to determine what happened," state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
The crash occurred as Connecticut marked Teen Safe Driving Week, and a day after transportation officials announced that fatal crashes in the state were at a 12-year low among 16- and 17-year-old drivers.