Authorities on Wednesday identified the two men who were killed in a fiery high-speed car crash inside the Lowry Hill tunnel in downtown Minneapolis after dark Sunday.

Lucas M. James Jr., 34, and Denver Smith Jr., both of Minneapolis, died at the scene after the car they occupied crashed and burst into flames in the tunnel, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.

A third person in the car, Demetrius Hart, 24, of Minneapolis, was taken to HCMC with life-threatening injuries. The State Patrol has yet to say who was driving. Hart was in critical condition Wednesday at HCMC.

The crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 occurred about 9:40 p.m. and forced authorities to close the freeway for several hours.

The car hit a concrete median wall, causing the fuel tank to rupture and ignite, the patrol said.

A video posted to YouTube shows the car speeding into the tunnel before hitting the left guardrail, sending up a shower of sparks. As the car enters the tunnel, it smashes into the wall, causing a flash of orange fire. The video then shows the car, engulfed in flames, skid to a stop as the tunnel fills with smoke.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482