New Haven police have identified the victims of what they call one of the most tragic accidents they've seen in a long time.
Billy Ray Yancy, 32, and Derand Alan Lane, 35, both of New Haven, were killed when their car plummeted into a gas station canopy around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.
A third passenger, Tyrese Worthy, 27, of West Spring Street in New Haven, survived.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata was driving westbound on Whalley Avenue at 5:05 a.m. when it lost control at the spot where Whalley splits with Amity Road. According to police, the driver failed to negotiate a turn onto either road. The car hit a curb, went airborne, and crashed into the canopy and gas pumps at a Mobil gas station.
Security cameras show the car speeding down Whalley Avenue moments before the crash.
"I'm amazed that he was airborne and flew up and hit the roof," Meriden resident Duane Heady told NBC Connecticut. "Must have been going pretty fast, as far as I'd see."
Yancy and Lane were killed. Worthy was ejected from the vehicle, but was able to walk to a nearby parking lot. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
"The person who was injured was found actually walking in a parking lot, walking around with some facial injuries, but otherwise nothing life-threatening and not that serious," said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.
Witnesses told investigators the car was traveling at a high rate of speed.
The crash did not spark a fire or explosion, but caused extensive damage to the gas station's canopy and gas pumps. A New Haven building inspector is evaluating the damage.