NEWARK — Three people who died in a fiery crash on Route 22 late Tuesday night were returning home from a large beach party an hour away in Point Pleasant Beach, authorities said.

The car heading westbound on Route 22 in the area of Weequahic Park crashed and burst into flames around 11 p.m., police told ABC 7 Eyewitness News. The crash ejected the three people.

During his daily news briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned that the occupants of the vehicle were on their way back from a large gathering an hour to the south.

"I happened to have spoken with (Newark) Mayor Baraka. Three young guys from Newark were killed on Route 22 on the way back from Point Pleasant Beach," Murphy said, adding that two other males were hospitalized.

"Please keep them in your prayers," Murphy said.

Essex County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Katherine Carter on Wednesday afternoon did not reveal what led to the crash or the identities of the victims.

Point Pleasant Beach police said "thousands" had descended on the beach during the afternoon and evening.  Mayor Paul Kanitra was not happy with the behavior of what he described as "a bunch of disrespectful young people looking for a good time and not caring at all how they acted in the process."

Six people were arrested by Point Pleasant police.

RLS Metro Breaking News reported that police told them the driver of a Cadillac CTS lost control and crashed.

Police told RLS that five people were inside the car, all under the age of 20. Two females were being treated for severe burns at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Route 22 was closed near the Hillside border until 6:30 a.m.

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