A DEVASTATING crash has killed a family of four after a large rig ripped through a stop sign and slammed into their vehicle, officials say.
The driver of the truck told authorities his brakes failed, leading to the crash on Interstate 17 in Arizona on Sunday.
Both vehicles were engulfed in flames after the crash sent them flying off the road, with the truck landing on the family’s car.
Parents Gnanappan Nagarajan, 54, and Vijaya Lakshmi-Gopal, 45, were killed in the wreckage, along with their two sons, Athish Nagarajan, 24, and Dhinesh Nagarajan, 23.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves, the parents were traveling to Sedona from India to see their sons.
“It’s especially heartbreaking – they were on a family outing when it happened,” Graves said.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, however, soldiers do not believe impaired driving was a factor.
Friends have described Athish Nagaraja as a unique and talented person who has great things in store for him.
He worked at Lucid Motors and was quickly promoted within the company, as Head of Global Sourcing.
Similar kind words were used to describe his younger brother.
“Dhinesh was so selfless,” his friend Lily Rich told 12News.
“My memories are so special with him. My freshman year at ASU wouldn’t have been so amazing if I hadn’t met him.
The brothers lived in Tempe while their family was overseas in India.
Dhinesh was a musician and RA at Arizona State University last year. Rich said he had been like family to her.
“He made me feel like home,” she said.
“I’m from Missouri, so traveling to Arizona and starting college is tough and scary, and having this someone, like I feel like I can go to him anytime, and Dhinesh made it clear that he was a friend to us.”
Rich’s friend Quinn Talbot agreed, calling Dhinesh a “genuine soul”.
“It breaks my heart that he is no longer with us, but he is watching over us.”