Two dead in early a.m. New Year’s Day crash

Two teenagers, one from Lawrence and the other from Lowell, are dead after fleeing police in a car at more than 100 mph in the early hours of the new year, police say.

The 19-year-olds died after losing control of the vehicle they were in as it crossed from Lawrence into Andover on Route 28. The car was found wrecked in the snow with both occupants ejected by the Interstate 495 interchange.

Police identified the dead as Cesar X. Rodriguez, 19, of 135 Bowdoin St., Lawrence, and Quadeer A. Dicks, 19, of 25 South Walker St., Lowell.

Massachusetts State Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, including who was behind the wheel and where the teens were coming from.

The chase started before 2:45 a.m. Wednesday when Lawrence police tried to stop a 2007 Acura TSX sedan on Route 28 at Water Street, according to State Police spokesman David Procopio.

The car is registered to an Amesbury woman, and was not reported stolen, Procopio said.

“The information provided to us is that Lawrence tried stopping the vehicle for speeding,” Procopio said. “The vehicle continued southbound on Broadway, at one point shutting its lights off and at speeds that Lawrence estimates were in excess of 100 mph.

The first cruiser to follow the vehicle broke off from the chase. Moments later and a little more than a mile farther down the road, a second Lawrence cruiser saw “a car going by at a high rate of speed” at the South Broadway intersection with Inman Street, Procopio said.

Lawrence police continued traveling in the direction of the suspects and found the Acura off the road on the snow-covered grass shoulder at the junction of Route 28 and I-495.

“It looks like the car actually loses control on 28 in Andover, veers off the road, impacts a snow bank, a steel guard rail, and then appears to impact the concrete base of the steel structure” of the 495 overpass, Procopio said.

Both were taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where Dicks was declared dead, Procopio said. Rodriguez was flown by medical helicopter to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he died.

No other vehicles are believed to have been involved in the crash, Procopio said.

Lawrence and Andover police were the first to the scene, with Andover fire crews getting dispatched as well. Due to the accident taking place on a state highway, State Police were called in and took over the scene at 3:20 a.m., Procopio said. The Essex County District Attorney’s office is also helping in the investigation.

“It was early New Year’s morning, so we’re investigating where they may have been coming from if they were out celebrating the new year,” Procopio said.