RCMP in northern New Brunswick have released the names of the four people who died when their car slid off a dirt road and plunged into the Tracadie River early Saturday morning.

The victims are:

  • Marie-Helene Gauvin, 17, of Pointe Canot
  • Tommy Losier, 18, and Brian Basque, 19, of Ste-Rose
  • Alexandre McGraw, 20, of Losier

The four were driving along a remote part of Route 370 near Tracadie-Sheila, which is about 70 kilometres northeast of Miramichi, around 1 a.m. Their vehicle was trying to make it up a hill when it spun out of control and went into the river.

Search crews recovered the submerged vehicle just after 3 p.m. Saturday, and all four bodies were inside, said a police news release.

Police said road conditions were slippery at the time of the crash.

CTV Atlantic’s David Bell described the scene as it looked hours after the accident.

“There’s a road that goes alongside the river and a very steep embankment,” Bell told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview on Saturday. “Apparently the four were in a vehicle trying to get up that embankment when it slid down and into the river.”

The group was apparently out celebrating a birthday, Bell said.

On Sunday, local church services in Tracadie-Sheila paused to remember the crash victims.

“It was quite different,” parishioner Robert Gauvin told CTV Atlantic. “The priest asked for a moment of silence to pray for the victims and their families. It was quite touching, especially at this time of the year.”

With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore