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Mahwah Route 287 Crash Victims Were Bosco Graduate Athletes

Sam Cali, Leo Vagias Photo Credit: Cali:, Vagias: Ari Eka
One lane remained open around noon Monday. Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE photo

MAHWAH, N.J. -- Shock waves continued to spread Monday afternoon with word that two 19-year-old men killed in an overnight crash on Route 287 in Mahwah were former Don Bosco Prep graduate athletes.

CLICK HERE for funeral arrangements for Sam Cali and Leo Vagias .

Sam Cali, who was attending Rutgers University, was a standout wrestler at the Ramsey high school.

Cali went 89-28 career, winning two district championships and placing third at the NJSIAA State Championships at 132 pounds as a senior, Everpiedia reports . He also had a 3.5 GPA at Bosco and was an honors student, the site reports ( READ THE FULL EVERPIPEDIA STORY: ).

Leo Vagias was a place kicker on the Rhode Island University football team.

Both were from Towaco.

The Lexus they were in barreled off Route 287 in Mahwah in the middle of the night, hitting several trees, overturning and ejecting them, New Jersey State Police said.

One of them ended up pinned beneath the vehicle, a witness told Daily Voice.

DOT workers found the vehicle Monday morning about 15-20 yards off the highway at milepost 62.5, Police Chief James Batelli said.

"There were no telltale signs from the road that anything had happened," a witness told Daily Voice. "It went right into woods."

The New Jersey State Police Totowa Station and the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit investigator

"It pains me to think of saying goodbye to these two great athletes," wrote sports trainer Ari Eka in a Facebook tribute Monday afternoon.

"Leo Vagias, it was never a boring moment with you. Your goofy personality always made my day so much better," Eka wrote.

"Sam Cali, the wrestling world is missing out on one of the best wrestlers to step on the mat," he added. "You trained harder then most kids your age and your life was taken before the world could know your name.

"My prayers go out to both your families and friends as this is a very hard time for everyone. Love you guys and you will forever be remembered."

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