Traffic investigators were on Hope Mills Road with lasers trying to figure out why a black Ford Mustang driven by 26-year-old Tristan Hanna slammed into a white Toyota Highlander driven by 26-year-old Hien Truong.
Hanna and Truong died hours later at UNC Hospitals, along with Truong's daughter, Hannah.
Truong's wife, Huyen Truong, was also in the SUV and is at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in the intensive care unit.
Hanna's fiancée, 32-year-old Brook Paquin, was a passenger in the Mustang and remains in critical condition at a hospital in Wilmington.
Authorities were trying to determine if the vehicle was traveling at 90 mph, like several eyewitnesses speculated.
"For whatever reason the black Mustang left its lane of travel and drifted into the oncoming traffic and struck the white Highlander head-on," Hope Mills Police Sgt. David Servie said.
Late Friday afternoon, investigators told ABC11 Eyewitness News that they've determined the Mustang was traveling at least 65 mph when it slammed head-on into the SUV.
The road was scattered with debris, including small bottles of liquor, making some wonder if alcohol was a factor.
Investigators say Hanna was a contract nurse at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and his contract ended Wednesday, so he had packed his car with all of his belonging to head home to New York.
"So he had clothes, he had … there's a TV in there, suit cases, just his personal belongings," Servie said. "So that's were some speculation has come from as to the alcohol. Literally he just packed his liquor cabinet up and was taking it back to New York with him."
Hanna's roommate says he had an engagement ring with him and was planning on popping the question to Paquin this weekend.
Investigators say it is one of the worse accidents they've seen in Hope Mills in a long time, especially since it involves a child and it's so close to the holidays.
"You absolutely feel it," Servie said." It's just a ... you're hurting for the families, both sides, both families."