Officials: 2 teens in stolen SUV killed in crash; vehicles strike home

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Authorities say two teenage boys riding in a stolen SUV were killed when the vehicle collided with a car in Newark, a crash that sent both vehicles careening into a house.

The crash happened near Madison Avenue and Bergen Street around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said that after the crash the two vehicles struck a parked car, two light poles and then the house. The SUV then overturned and burst into flames. No one inside the house was injured.

“I heard a large crash and then a boom, and then the house shook,” says Najee Johnson, who lives on the second floor of the house with his wife and five children.

Johnson adds, “I ran to my kids’ room and I could see smoke fill the house up...I looked out window and see a car on top of my car - and a fire ball."

Authorities say that the teens had stolen the SUV out of Elizabeth and were speeding when they lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The two teens were pronounced dead at the scene. They were identified as 17-year-old Quadre Robinson and 19-year-old Quayim Battle.

Mayor Baraka called the situation a tragedy, no matter how it may have begun.

“Despite whatever was going on – with a car stolen or not - these people had parents. I feel bad for the parents. And the tragedy is them losing their children this morning,” Baraka said.

Building officials say that the house is not safe to live in for the moment, so the residents will have to find another place to stay. Johnson says that his family will also need to find a new car, since his was damaged during the crash.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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