A solemn circle of friends often sitting in silence.
The group of four sat near where the tragic accident happened on the road leading out of Hammonasset State Park Saturday night.
One witness shared a photo with News 8 showing the SUV flipped on its side.
18-year-old Nicholas Proto was one of two passengers ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Frank Wendt is camping with a group of families at the park and was out to dinner at the time of the accident.
“Certainly scary for the kids had to do a lot of explaining about what went on and what the outcome was,” said Wendt. “It’s a learning.. a learning lesson too.”
The State Police Accident Reconstruction team is assisting DEEP’s Environmental Conservation police who are investigating the accident.
“We saw lights and sirens where we were eating dinner and we tried to get back into the park. We could not,” said Wendt. “Actually had the whole place shut down.”
Florescent paint indicates the skid marks seen along the roadway while black glass litters the nearby grass.
The SUV was carrying six people. Two were ejected while the driver and three other passengers were also sent to the hospital.
Proto who is from Higganum had just graduated high school. The superintendent tells News 8 they are concentrating on the community and have no comment.
“It’s terrible regardless for anybody to have to go through that but it sucks even being over here knowing that something like that happened two days ago,” said camper Denzell Alston of Chicopee, Massachusetts.
One woman who was camping with her daughter didn’t want to go on camera but she did say Saturday night she was having dinner with a group of friends at a roadside picnic table and that’s when they heard tires screeching and also heard what sounded like a car out of control.
Seconds later they saw the car come down the road and flip over.
Some of the people in her group are nurses and they went over to try to help.
On Monday friends of Nicholas Proto remember him on the spot where a memorial has now been set up in his honor.