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Arizona DPS: 3 high school students killed in vehicle rollover west of Pima

(Facebook/Arizona Department of Public Safety)

PHOENIX — Three high school students died on Friday night after being ejected from a passenger van in a rollover crash on the U.S. 70 west of Pima, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

A 16-year-old from Thatcher, a 16-year-old from Fort Thomas and a 17-year-old from Duncan, all boys, were killed.

The driver and five other high school students in the passenger van received non-life threatening injuries, according to authorities.

The students were returning from the National Hot Rod Association in Phoenix when the Eastern Arizona College passenger van they were traveling in crossed into the other lane, left the road and subsequently rolled.

Impairment does not appear to be a factor, according to authorities, and the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

The students were considered part-time Eastern Arizona College students and were enrolled in the Gila Institute for Technology, a state-funded joint education district serving Graham and Greenlee counties, says college spokesman Kris McBride.

The passenger van that crashed was one of two traveling from the event, according to McBride.

College President Todd Haynie said the students’ deaths were a “tragic loss.”

“We join the entire Gila Valley community in prayer for the families and friends of these students and send our heartfelt condolences to them,” Haynie said in a statement.

The names of all nine passengers has not been released.

No other information was immediately available.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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