3 James Madison University students die in West Virginia crash

Three students from James Madison University in Virginia were killed in a car crash on Thursday night.

"It is with a heavy heart and sadness I write to inform you of the loss of several JMU students from a tragic car accident that occurred last night in West Virginia," JMU Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Miller said in a statement. "In addition to those we have lost, other students from our community involved in the accident sustained life-threatening injuries and remain hospitalized."

The Hardy County, West Virginia Sheriff's Office says that the crash happened at about 10:30 p.m. on West Virginia Route 259 near the West Virginia-Virginia state line.

The car had been traveling south on the road when it went off the road and hit a tree.  Deputies say the road was dry and the skies were clear at the time of the crash.

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There were no signs of skid marks on the road which indicated that no evasive actions were taken.  There was also no sign of an animal being struck.

There were five 19-year-old male JMU students in the car and three were dead at the scene.  The driver and an additional passenger were life-flighted from the scene in critical condition.

Police say the five had been at the Paradise City Club along Route 259 prior to the accident.  They say the crash is still under investigation.

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"It is a difficult moment at James Madison University. There are heavy hearts on our campus as we process the loss of these students. The university is working with local authorities and the families of students; however, we do not have additional information at this time. We’re also working to provide counseling and mental health support across campus during this hard time," Mary-Hope Vass, spokesperson for JMU, said in a statement to FOX 5 NY.

The university said the families of the students have been notified of the accident and the university is working to provide additional support.  The names of the victims were not immediately released.

This story has been updated to correct the number of students who died.  A previous version said 4 had died at the scene.