The incident occurred on the A61 between Busby Stoop and Carlton Miniott at around 9.25pm on Wednesday 7 March 2018.
It involved a green VW Bora and a black Ford Focus that was heading in the opposite direction towards Thirsk.
Two 17-year-old boys, rear seat passengers in the VW Bora, were sadly pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Another two passengers in the same vehicle, an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, remain in a critical condition in hospital.
The driver of the VW Bora, a 22-year-old local man, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.
The driver of the Ford Focus, a 27-year-old man from outside the area, was discharged from hospital following treatment. A passenger in the car, a 24-year-old woman, is receiving treatment at the hospital. A three-year-old girl and a six-month old boy have also been kept in hospital for observations as a precaution.
Following the fatal collision, Inspector Dave Barf from North Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Group, said:
“A 22-year-old local man has been arrested in connection with the investigation and released on police bail while enquiries continue.
“The circumstances of the terrible collision which occurred on 7 March in which two young men lost their lives and others have been seriously injured, has inevitably been the subject of much comment and speculation on social media.
“The irresponsible spreading of information, which potentially has no basis in fact and may seriously prejudice the investigation, must be avoided.
“Anyone with information should contact the police and not commit it to social networks, where it only serves to cause additional distress to the families concerned and frustrate the investigation.”
Officers are continuing to appeal for people to come forward to assist the investigation, including witnesses to the actual collision, anyone who recalls seeing any of the vehicles involved prior to the incident, and anyone who may have dash-cam footage that could help with enquiries.
If you can help, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for the Major Collision Investigation Team or email MCIT@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.
Please quote reference number 12180039673 when providing details about this incident.
We are not yet in a position to confirm the identity of the two boys who died in the collision. We request that their families’ privacy is respected at this extremely difficult time.