The eight teenagers crammed into an SUV that was only supposed to seat five.
They were driving a vehicle that was reported stolen.
And they were speeding down a two-lane northeastern Ohio road, authorities say.
But any poor judgment was quickly eclipsed by a tragic crash that cut short six young lives.
The black Honda Passport veered over the left side of the road, crashed into a guardrail and flipped over into a pond near the city of Warren.
Investigators are trying to determine why, but Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt said Monday that weather was not a factor in what he called the deadliest traffic accident in Trumbull County history -- and the worst in Ohio in at least three years.
The vehicle was going faster than the 35-mph posted limit, but the exact speed wasn't clear, Holt said.
Officers are waiting for the results of toxicology tests, but Holt said no signs of alcohol or drugs were found inside the vehicle.
None of the passengers was wearing seat belts, the highway patrol said in a statement. It also said that the owner of the SUV reported it stolen on Monday, although the statement did not indicate whether the owner had been aware of the accident.
No defects were found in the car that could have contributed to the crash.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol identified those killed as Alexis Cayson, 19; Andrique Bennett, 14; Kirklan M. Behner, 15; Daylan Ray, 15; Brandon A. Murray, 14; and Ramone M. White, 15. All were from Warren. Murray had initially been identified as 17.
A desperate search
Two of the injured occupants managed to escape by breaking a rear window in the submerged vehicle, emerging from the pond, then running about a quarter mile to a nearby home to call 911, Holt said.
Within minutes, a dive team plunged into the 4½- to 5-foot deep water to search for the rest.
But none of the other six survived.
"With the vehicle upside down, (that much water) would have been enough to completely immerse the interior of the vehicle," Holt said.
The divers "did an amazing job," Holt said. "I know that the end result was tragic, but you can't ask for better response, professionalism. They got in the water immediately, and they did what they could do," he said.
Cayson was behind the wheel, the highway patrol said.
"She was loving. She was silly, and she was a clown. She liked to make everybody laugh even when we were sad," her sister Ashia Cayson told CNN affiliate WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio.
Deanna Behner wept as she remembered her son Kirklan, a popular teen with many friends.
"I got the call that he was in an accident, and when they picked him up they said his heart wasn't working and they tried for hours to get him to come back," Behner told WKBN.
Behner said all eight teens were close friends who lived in the same neighborhood.