‘I didn’t want to believe it’: Best friends killed in fiery car crash on their way to work

Victim’s brother said he learned of the crash from an emergency notification sent to his phone

BOUSE, Ariz. — Two best friends living in the Valley were killed in a fiery crash after hitting a semi-truck on their way to work.

Family has identified the victims as Christopher Stevens, 21, and Jonathan Hernandez, 21. 

“They definitely loved each other a lot,” said Steven’s brother, Elijah. “There was nothing that could bring those two apart.”

According to the Arizona Department of public safety the crash happened Wednesday before noon on State Route 72 near Bouse which is about two hours west of Phoenix. A van driven by Stevens and Hernandez crashed into the back of it while the semi-truck was slowing down to turn.

The van then caught fire following the crash and trapped both men inside. Stevens died at the scene and Hernandez was flown to a hospital but died from his injuries.

 “I didn’t want to believe it,” Elijah Stevens said. 

Stevens said his brother and Hernandez worked for a local funeral home together and were driving to Lake Havasu City for a job when the crash happened. He learned about it when he received an emergency notification on his phone that his brother had gotten into a crash.

Trying not to panic, Stevens called his brother multiple times to find out what happened. When Christopher didn’t answer, Stevens got into his car and started to drive to where they were headed. Stevens said he then got the call that his brother had died.

“[Christopher] was just really nice to me all the time,” he said. “I think [Christopher] knew I didn’t have many friends, so he was always like, there to be like, my best, friend.”

The family now grieving the death of their loved ones. Adding to the heartbreak, Stevens and other family members claim that law enforcement has not confirmed it was Stevens and Hernandez that died in the crash.

“It’s just kind of upsetting knowing if I didn’t get that text, I would just think my brother’s lost right now,” Stevens said.

They are now waiting for an autopsy to be conducted on Christopher.

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