EMERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A high school student who was about to graduate has been killed on the road.

She was a passenger in a sport-utility vehicle that flipped several times. Her brother was also in the vehicle when their friend lost control of the wheel.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, a memorial was growing at the site marked by police tape and barricades.

Neighbors, including two ER nurses, ran out to help following the accident, but nothing could be done.

Students from Emerson Junior and Senior High School laid flowers at the site of the crash. Some knelt in prayer.

Skid marks and paint from the accident investigation lined Hasbrouck Avenue where tape and barricades marked the car’s movements.

“You could take fireworks and just a hundred times what that noise was like, you know the impact,” neighbor Larry Hage said.

Nurse, Dorothy Macaluso recalled a horrific scene.

“People screaming for help, to help her,” she said.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder, being driven by a 17-year-old girl, lost control and traveled sideways before flipping and landing on the driver’s side.

The car landed on a man’s lawn.

“Clipped this tree of mine a little bit and took out a bush,” Dermott Healy said.

Passenger Stephanie Morgan, 18, was ejected.

Macaluso said she and the other nurse began CPR and were able to get a pulse at one point.

“I think the point of impact was where the damage was done. She did not suffer, she was not in pain, she was unresponsive, but I think no matter what there was no coming back from this,” she said.

The driver and the victim’s 15-year-old brother, who was in the back seat, were okay.

Students learned about the crash on Thursday morning at school where the flag was lowered to half staff.

“She always had a smile on her face in the hallways. She just always was nice to everyone in school, friends, anyone, she was just a great person,” junior Anthony Saluzzi said.

Seniors at the school were let out early on Thursday, and grief counselors were on hand. A junior-senior formal for Thursday night was cancelled.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said the investigation was ongoing, and no charges have been filed. They are looking into whether the victim was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.



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