A DEVASTATING crash killed a family of four after a big rig ran a stop sign and slammed into their vehicle, according to officials.
The driver of the truck told authorities that his brakes had failed, resulting in the crash on Interstate 17 in Arizona on Sunday.
Both vehicles were engulfed by flames after the crash sent them flying from the road, with the truck landing on top of the family’s car.
Parents Gnanappan Nagarajan, 54, and Vijaya Lakshmi-Gopal, 45, were killed in the wreck, along with their two sons, 24-year-old Athish Nagarajan and 23-year-old Dhinesh Nagarajan.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene.
“That’s especially heartbreaking - they were on a family outing when this occurred,” said Graves.
An investigation into the crash is underway, however, troopers don’t believe impaired driving was a factor.
Friends described Athish Nagaraja as a one-of-a-kind, talented person who had big things in store for him.
He worked at Lucid Motors and had been quickly promoted within the company, working as a global supply manager.
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Similar kind words were used to describe his younger brother.
“Dhinesh was so selfless,” said his friend Lily Rich to 12News.
“My memories are so special with him. My freshman year at ASU would not have been as amazing if I hadn't met him.”
The brothers lived in Tempe while their family was abroad in India.
Dhinesh was a musician and an RA at Arizona State University last year. Rich said that he had been like family to her.
“He made it feel like home to me,” she said.
“I’m from Missouri, so traveling to Arizona and starting college is hard and scary, and having that somebody, like I felt like I could go to him at all times, and Dhinesh made it so clear he was a friend to us.”
Rich’s friend Quinn Talbot agreed, calling Dhinesh a “genuine soul.”
“It breaks my heart that he’s no longer with us, but he’s watching over us.”