CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced Wednesday that three teens killed in a car wreck in Cullman County last week were attempting to elude police at the time of the accident.

The teens were traveling at a high rate of speed away from a Hanceville officer when the car they were in left the roadway, hit a tree and caught on fire, police report.

Adam Hadder, assistant police chief with the Hanceville Police Department, said the accident happened around 1:10 a.m. in the area of Highway 91 and County Road 549.

On Wednesday, Hadder said he wants to clear up that the incident was not a chase or pursuit because the officer who saw the truck in question could not catch up once he saw it speed by.

“ALEA released this press release, we did not. We’re having to respond now,” Hadder said. “I hope it doesn’t bring any different type of light on to these kids. Whatever happened, they were young. Unfortunately, this cost someone their life. It is what it is, and we hate it for them. It’s the worst thing that can happen.”

The Cullman County Coroner identified the victims as 15-year-old Cayden Britt, of Oneonta, 16-year-old Dailan Jennings, of Oneonta, and 15-year-old Evan Magana, of Snead.

The 17-year-old driver was ejected from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital for treatment. Hadder said unofficially he heard the teen was on a ventilator still in the hospital and is hopeful he is doing okay.

A prayer vigil was held at Susan Moore High School in Blountsville on Nov. 11 for the victims.