Victims Identified in Four Lane Fatal Car Crash

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. - We have continuing coverage on a deadly crash near Prather that took the lives of two young men and severely injured one other. The Fresno County Coroner's Office has now identified the two victims who were killed. They've been identified as 19-year old Aaron Beasley and 20-year old Austin Wagenleitner, both of Clovis. Their families are mourning their sudden deaths, while the surviving victim, 24-year old Jason Kirby, remains in the hospital in fair condition.

The families of the two young men who died said the three boys were all close friends. The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash and whether the men were heading up the mountain or driving down.

It's a tragedy no family should have to endure, to get the call their child has been in a fatal car accident. For both the Beasley and Wagenleitner families, life changed on Tuesday morning when a Cal Fire officer saw Wagenleitner's Chevy truck crashed off of Highway 168, 400 feet below the freeway.

Fresno County Fire Captain Jeremiah Wittwer said, "It was challenging getting down there. We did notice just from looking at the road right now that we we're gonna do some extrication as we got down there."

Cal Fire said Beasley and Wagenleitner were both ejected from the car. Kirby survived the crash and was airlifted to the hospital on Tuesday morning.

Beasley's family released a statement that said, "Aaron was full of life, smiles, laughter, kindness and love. His heart was felt by everyone he spent time with. He loved his family, friends and the great outdoors. His loving heart, contagious smile and big blue eyes will be missed by all. Thank you for all of the prayers, love and support shown to us during this difficult time."

The Wagenleitner family said, "Austin is the oldest of six children. He was a proud big brother who often boasted about his siblings. He enjoyed the mountains and the beach. His hobbies included making beats and wood-working. He worked for his grandfather farming raisins and was just hired by Walmart to work as an associate in their hardware department. He attended New Harvest Church with his family and participated in the college group at Northside Christian Church. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed."

CHP said it's still trying to determine exactly when the crash occurred. The families of the victims told CHP the young men had been missing since Monday night.

"The vehicle was cold on the motor when we got down there. So, they had been down there for a couple of hours I would assume," ended Wittwer.

CHP said it is undetermined if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this crash.


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