TRENTON — Flags in the state will fly at half staff on Friday in honor of a Union High School student and recent National Guard recruit who died after a car crash late Saturday night.

Pfc. Anthony Steitz, a 17-year-old high school junior and member of the Junior ROTC program, was on his way home after attending the JROTC military ball when his car went off the road on Route 78 in Watchung shortly before midnight. He was pronounced dead on Sunday.

The car slammed into several trees, police said. He was the only one in the vehicle.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the State Police.

In an executive order, Gov. Phil Murphy cited the 17-year-old's "outstanding achievements" as a member of the JROTC and the National Guard. Murphy said that hours before the crash at the ball, Steitz was awarded the group's highest achievement, the Superior Cadet Award.

Services will be 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at McCracken Funeral Home on Morris Avenue in Union. His funeral is 10 a.m. Friday.

According to Steitz's obituary, donations in Anthony's honor can be made to the New Jersey Veterans Network, 10 Ward Place, East Hanover, NJ 07963 or at njvn.org. Donations also cam be made to the Crossroads Christian Fellowship Youth Fund, 2815 Morris Ave., Union, NJ 07083.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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