Loved ones of victims in weekend I-40 fatal crash in West Knoxvi

Loved ones of victims in weekend I-40 fatal crash in West Knoxville devastated by loss

Jake Jennings (source: family) Jake Jennings (source: family)
Joshua Hensley (source: Family) Joshua Hensley (source: Family)
Brittany Branch (source: family) Brittany Branch (source: family)
Javier Rodriguez (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Javier Rodriguez (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Knoxville, Tenn - By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Friends and loved ones of two people killed in a weekend accident along I-40 in West Knoxville say they're simply devastated by this loss.

Police say Jake Jennings, 20, had pulled over along the interstate near Cedar Bluff to help out a car that had broken down. Two people were inside that car, Brittany Branch, 20, and her fiance Joshua Hensley. Officers say another car plowed into the three, killing Jennings and Hensley, and critically injuring Branch.

Previous story: 2 dead, 1 transported to hospital following I-40 crash

The driver of the third car, Javier Rodriguez, 20, was treated and released from the hospital. He's now facing several charges including vehicular homicide.

Those closest to the victims have set up a small memorial close to the crash site. Friends of Jennings and Hensley visited Monday.

"Out of anywhere on that road, it happened at that point in time, right there," said friend Blake Bickel.

"It's becoming heavy realizing that my best friend is gone," said Josh McPherson.

It was their love of cars that brought everyone together forming a family.

"We're all there for each other at any point in time," said Bickel.

That's what friends say Jennings was doing when the accident happened.

"Josh's car broke down on the side of the interstate and Jake pulled over to help," said McPherson.

Loved ones turned to one another for support.

"They don't deserve the loss of their children but they do deserve the support that Knoxville is giving," said McPherson.

Branch, is recovering at UT Medical Center. Her dad was flying in Monday from Oregon to be by her side.

"From what I understand she broke both her legs, has a couple broken ribs too, and some lacerations," said her father Mitchell Branch.

Families and friends say they're relying on faith so that everyone can begin healing.

"You're very thankful for your child but your heart goes out to the other families and even the friends of the families," added Branch.

As a way to help each of the families involved in this crash, friends are hosting a charity car show on Wednesday night starting at 7 p.m. outside of Valley Vapor in Farragut, the address is 151 W. End Avenue or visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
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