ORANGE — Police say speed was likely a factor in a fiery, single-car crash that killed three people in Essex County early Saturday morning.

According to a statement from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, the driver of the 2006 Chevy Malibu involved in the crash has been identified as Shaquan Dennis, 36, of Irvington. The passengers were identified as Safiyyah Scott, 35, of Newark and Michael T. Nelson, 30, of East Orange, authorities said.

The prosecutor's office said that according to a preliminary investigation, the speed at which the Chevy Malibu was traveling was "likely a factor in the crash." The vehicle, police said, struck a tree in the area of Tremont and Mosswood avenues then burst into flames, killing all three occupants.

Authorities are not releasing any additional information, but say the investigation is "active and ongoing."

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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