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A Suffolk University freshman died early Sunday morning after his vehicle went airborne and struck the ceiling of a Massachusetts Turnpike tunnel in Boston.

Yao Cao, 19, was driving eastbound on Exit 22 of Interstate 90 at about 2:15 a.m. when his 2013 Audi A8 left the road, hit the ceiling of the tunnel, and ripped down wires and cables, according to State Police. State Police believe the accident was caused by “excessive speed and impairment.”

Police had previously reported that the victim was 20 years old.

Cao, who had lived in Chestnut Hill, was pronounced dead at the scene, State Police said. A woman who was riding in the car with him was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The passenger was not identified.

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Cao was a first-year student at Suffolk, studying finance in the Sawyer Business School and involved in the Freshman Second Language Program, according to a statement from Suffolk University Acting President Marisa Kelly. He was from Changchun, China.

“The loss of such a young life is a tragedy beyond words,” she wrote to the campus community on Sunday. “As a community we extend our deepest sympathies to Yao’s family and to all those who knew and loved him.”

Boston firefighters, EMS, and MassDot officials assisted State Police at the scene early Sunday morning.

The exit remained blocked off after the crash until about 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, according to Trooper Paul Sullivan, a State Police spokesman.

State Police were still investigating the cause of the crash on Sunday.


Lauren Fox can be reached at lauren.fox@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurenbfox. Felicia Gans can be at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.