HALIFAX -- The community of Blackville, N.B. is mourning the death of three teenagers after a collision Sunday morning.

Blackville RCMP say shortly before 2:30 a.m., police responded to a crash on Route 8.

Police believe the crash occurred when the car travelling northbound on Route 8 crossed the median, left the road and struck a retaining wall.

A 17-year-old boy from White Rapids, N.B. a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy, both from Blackville, were all ejected from the vehicle. All three died at the scene as a result of their injuries.

CTV News spoke with Rodney Buggie on the phone, the principal at the community’s K-12 Blackville School, who confirmed the deaths.

“We’re a small community, everyone knows everyone,” said Buggie. "We're a K-to-12 school and all those boys would have attended kindergarten to Grade 12. Every teacher knew them... I knew them all very well."

Buggie says two of the boys were in Grade 12 and the other had graduated in June.

Blackville School will be opened on Sunday at 2 p.m. for students, friends, and family, where support counsellors will be available for those who need them.

The village is about 40 kilometres southwest of Miramichi, N.B., and home to about 950 people.

Blackville's mayor says one of the victims was his cousin, and he knew all three personally.

"It definitely hits too close to home. It's just so sad to see something like this happen in our community," says Christopher Hennessy, who is also a volunteer firefighter and responded to the collision Sunday morning.

"The only thing we can do as a village is offer our support to loved ones and those affected by the incident, and express our deepest sincere thoughts and prayers. And stand behind the first responders, police officers, firefighters, the paramedics who were all there. There's a lot of people affected by this." 

Jake Stewart, the area's representative in the provincial legislature, issued a statement Sunday asking residents to keep the victims' families in their thoughts and prayers.

"I'm shocked and saddened to learn of yet another tragedy here in our home community," said Stewart, who had been campaigning for re-election until Saturday. "It is important that all local candidates refrain from campaigning out of respect for the families."

The Blackville Fire Department, Ambulance New Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety as well as the New Brunswick Coroner's office assisted with the investigation.

An RCMP collision reconstructionist attended the scene and is also assisting with the investigation.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing.

With files from The Canadian Press