Saniha Cekic, 15, of Brooklyn, and Altin Nezaj, 17, of Pearl River, were pronounced dead at hospitals, Orangeburg police said in a prepared statement. The driver, Aisha Radoncic, 17, of Orangeburg, was seriously injured.
"I was watching the car and all of a sudden I heard this big bang," witness Joe Geppner told WCBS . "We started trying to put out the fire. All we heard was this poor girl screaming. And she was screaming terribly."
"Thank God the fire department came," Geppner said. "I kept seeing the flames no matter what they did, they just kept coming up." NJ Transit service was suspended in both directions along a section of the Pascack Valley line.
The driver of the other vehicle, Jason T. Castro, of Nanuet, wasn't injured, police said. He was driving a Volkswagen Jetta. Police didn't provide details, including the mechanics of the initial crash and its cause.
Nezaj was a member of Pearl River High School's football and wrestling teams; Radoncic also is a student there, according to the Journal News . The school was closed for Columbus Day but was offering counselors Monday and throughout the week.
"When our school community experiences a tragedy, such as the loss of a young life, it impacts all of us," Schools Superintendent Marco F. Pochintesta said on the district's website . "Our thoughts and prayers are with the students and their families and friends at this incredibly difficult time."
This story has been updated to correct that authorities have not yet referred to the precipitating crash as a collision involving two vehicles.