Teens were in rental Mercedes before fatal crash, NJ prosecutor says
NEWTON — A teenager was behind the wheel of a rental car that crashed on Saturday, claiming the life of a17-year-old girl while injuring three teenage friends a day after their prom, according to Sussex County prosecutors.
Anthony Burke, 17, was driving the Mercedes about 5:37 p.m. when it went off Greendale Road (Route 611) in Fredon, hitting several trees, according to State Police.
The crash killed Alexis "Lexi" Faye.
Burke and passenger Maria Fiore, 16, of Andover, were airlifted to a hospital. Passenger Nicholas Chavarria, 17, of Newton, suffered minor injuries.
First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller told the New Jersey Herald that the Mercedes had been rented by Burke's mother. Car rental companies generally do not rent cars to minors or allow them to operate the vehicle.
Under New Jersey law, 17 year olds are issued a probationary license, which does not allow the teen drivers to have more than one passenger unless their parent is in the vehicle. Their vehicles must also display a decal on the license plates.
No charges have been announced and authorities have not said what caused the crash as investigators continue to examine clues. Mueller did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Faye, a junior at Newton High School, was remembered as having a "heart of gold" with a bright smile and infectious laugh. She was also the timekeeper for the boys lacrosse team. The Lexi Faye Heart of Gold Lacrosse Scholarship was established in her memory.
Friends told NJ.com that the group was returning from a trip to Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, which is about 40 miles from Newton.
Faye's funeral is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Newton. Services will be 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home in Newton.
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