ROOSEVELT, NY (AP / CBS 2) – Three friends returning from a birthday celebration in Manhattan were killed when their car crashed on a Long Island highway.

State police say the accident happened early Sunday on the Southern State Parkway in Roosevelt. Their car struck a bridge embankment and burst into flames.

Family and friends told Newsday the men were celebrating two of their birthdays. Naquan Bell’s 21st birthday was Tuesday and Brendon McRae’s 24th birthday was Jan. 28. The third victim was identified as Stanley Saggesse, who was 23.

A passerby stopped and helped a trooper at the scene drag Bell from the car before it became engulfed in flames. The other two were trapped inside.

McRae was identified as the driver. The cause was not immediately known.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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