Barrie, Ont. police say six people died in a vehicle crash early Sunday and they are believed to be the same people reported missing hours earlier.
The single-vehicle crash happened in the area of McKay Road and Simcoe County Road 27, southwest of Barrie, according to Jennett Mays, spokesperson for the Barrie Police Service. Officers found the vehicle at about 2 a.m.
All six people were found dead at the crash site, Mays said. Police have not released names and exact ages.
Four men and two women, all in their early 20s, were reported missing to police at about 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“It is believed that the occupants were the six missing persons from Saturday evening,” Mays said, adding that next of kin are being notified.
Police had posted missing persons reports about the six on social media accounts on Saturday but have since deleted those posts.
Police trying to piece together what led to crash
Police are trying to determine what happened before the crash and what led to it, Mays said.
“It’s going to be a complex investigation and it will continue in the coming days,” she said.
Mays would not say if alcohol had been a factor in the crash. “There is ongoing investigation that will look at what happened and what led to it,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to speculate as to what may have led to it as this point.”
Officers from the Barrie police traffic unit, along with officers from its investigative unit, remain at the scene.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said the crash was a “shocking and horrible tragedy” and he urged residents to rally around the families who have lost loved ones.
“As a parent myself this is the worst nightmare. The six families in our city who are devastated this morning need all of our compassion and support, Barrie,” Lehman said on Twitter.
Lehman added that family members and friends of the six who died will need support.