A father and son were killed when the trucks they were driving in an Alabama highway collided head-on.
Jeffrey Morris Brasher, 50, was on his way to work as an independent bread distributor. Austin, his son, was driving home after a night of having fun with his friends.
The accident happened at 4:10 a.m. on Feb. 18. Police say Jeffrey died instantly while Austin, 22, was taken to a local hospital, where he lasted for almost five hours before he was overcome by his injuries, People reports.
The freak accident has impacted the close communities of Fayette and Bankstown, Alabama. Signs have been set up throughout the area, calling for prayers for the Brashers as they cope with the tragic loss.
"You really just cannot imagine it," said Pamela Brasher Dennis, Jeffrey's sister and Austin's aunt. "There are no words that can be said. Everybody's life changed on Saturday morning. No one's life will be the same after this."
Local police investigators say neither driver was wearing a seat belt and that alcohol was a factor in the deadly crash, CNN reports.
"Austin did drink and was coming home from partying when they crashed," says Monica Marie Aker, a cousin of Austin. "To know that they collided head-on is one of the hardest things to comprehend. Our whole community is just devastated by this."
Aker stated that the Feb. 18 accident was the latest in what had been a hard year for the Brashers. Jeffrey's wife and Austin's mother, Pamela, had been resisting cancer while the Brasher daughter, Jennifer, just recently recovered from a car crash she had been in.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking," Aker stated. "It is hard to know they are gone ... thousands of people loved them."
Dennis says the joint funeral will take place on the afternoon of Feb. 22. Wakes will be held for the two Brashers the day before.
"We are just so blessed," Dennis said. "Yes, we are struggling but we have been covered in prayer. People from all over the country have been reaching out to express their support. It has really helped us as we try to make sense out of the senseless."
Aker stated she partly takes consolation in the fact that Austin didn't survive the accident.
"My worst fear was that Austin would make it through and then kill himself because he wouldn't have been able to deal with killing his father," she stated. "It would have destroyed him."