Officials said 21-year-old Devin Mosteller of Clayton overcorrected, crossed the center line and ran off the road. According to the accident report, the car then struck a mailbox and ran down a slight embankment, before hitting a tree and killing everyone inside.
Mosteller's friends gathered at the crash site Sunday.
"He's been my best friend, I lived with him in college, I hung out with him every day, I worked with him, I don't know, it's heartbreaking. I don't know. The other two are just so young," Mosteller's friend, David Carpenter said.
The passengers were 18-year-old Christopher Pretty, of Clayton, and 19-year-old Adonis Banks, of Middlesex.
Banks was a 2012 graduate of Clayton High School and played on the basketball team.
The accident happened in the front yard of Mike Turnage, who was home at the time.
"When I walked out the door the vehicle was basically like a horseshoe, wrapped around the tree," Turnage said.
Turnage said he called out to the victims, but got no response, so then he immediately called 911.
"A couple other people came on the scene and this other guy came on the scene and was like, I'm a medic, and he checked their pulses, and that's when it hit, because he was checking their pulse, and he was like, 'he's dead,'" Turnage said.
The news is so shocking for friends that had seen Mosteller just a couple hours before the crash.
"I looked Devin right in the eyes before he left for the car and I can never see him again, so it's really hard," Carpenter said.
Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash and are awaiting test results to see if alcohol also contributed.