UNION, Maine — Two teenagers died late Saturday night after the driver of the car they were in failed to stop for police and sped off, eventually crashing into a tree with such force that it split the car into two pieces, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver, Caleb Byras, 17, of Litchfield, and passenger, Kara Brewer, 16, of Rockland, died at the scene, according to Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll. A 17-year-old girl from Warren, who also was in the car, survived and was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Byras had been stopped and given a speeding ticket by Rockport police Officer Craig Cooley an hour before the 11:40 p.m. crash occurred on the Wotton’s Mill Road near the intersection road with the Davis Road. Byras had been traveling east on Route 17 in Rockport heading to Rockland when he was given the ticket, Carroll said.

Byras was alone in the car when Cooley issued him a ticket, Carroll said, adding he believes that Byras picked up his two passengers in Rockland.

An hour later, Cooley had tried to stop the 2001 Subaru station wagon as it was speeding west on Route 17 in Rockport, Carroll said. The car was traveling about 65 miles per hour and at one point put on its blinker and appeared as though Byras was going to stop before continuing on and making a left turn onto Wotton’s Mill Road and speeding off.

Colley notified the Knox County Regional Communications Center in Rockland and ended the pursuit, Carroll said.

Cooley continued on the road, concerned about Byras’ driving and that it might end in an accident. Two miles down the road, Cooley came upon the crash scene involving the car that he had been pursuing.

The car had gone off the opposite side of the road and crashed into a tree, splitting the vehicle into two pieces. Initially, the officer was unsure if there was one vehicle or two vehicles involved because of the extent of the damage.

The two teens in the front seats were pronounced dead at the scene and the third passenger was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport by Union Ambulance. He declined to release the name of the surviving passenger because she is a juvenile.

Carroll said he believed the surviving passenger was wearing a seat belt but was not sure about Byras and Brewer, who were in the front seats.

Hope and Union fire departments assisted at the scene, including providing lighting for responders to view the scene. The crash is being reconstructed and mapped by Maine State Police.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody came to the scene as is the practice in a fatal crash. The Maine attorney general’s office also was notified because it had started with a police chase but Carroll said the attorney general’s office would not become involved because there was no physical contact between the cruiser and vehicle and that the pursuit had ended before the crash.

The wreckage of the car was removed from the scene by All Directions Towing in Hope and has been impounded as part of the investigation, the deputy chief said.