Early last month, fans and crew of the Netflix series Outer Banks were devastated to learn that Alexander “AJ” Jennings, a stand-in for Chase Stokes, had been killed in a hit-and-run car crash. The young star was walking near the set in North Charleston, South Carolina, at around 2:30 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle that then fled the scene.
According to witnesses, he was then hit by another vehicle, the driver of which also left without alerting authorities. AJ Jennings was then transported to a hospital but unfortunately died as a result of his extensive injuries.
Following the horrific news, several members of the Outer Banks crew shared their heartbreak on social media. “Still trying to process why certain things happen, and why the world works in the ways that it does,” Chase Stokes wrote in an Instagram story. “My heart is shattered. Your life was just starting.”
Since that tragic day, the cast has remained largely silent regarding the incident, processing their grief privately and amongst those who knew AJ best. In a recent interview with TMZ, however, Chase Stokes opened up about the loss, urging others to use the horrible situation as a cautionary tale against drunk driving.
“It’s tough, man. You know, we’re still looking for the second driver,” the Outer Banks star explained. “It’s a tragic, tragic situation. Just don’t drink and drive.”
“I can’t say it enough. It’s just not worth it. Get in an Uber, do something, because this beautiful soul, this beautiful individual’s life is taken away way too soon because of somebody who made a stupid, stupid decision to drink and drive.”
‘Outer Banks’ Star Chase Stokes Sends a Message to His Youngest Fans
Though the driver of the second vehicle was pulled over in a traffic stop unrelated to the crash, the first driver has yet to be identified. Outer Banks star Chase Stokes hopes that this isn’t an option in the future. “I’m a big believer in red light cameras,” he said. “I’m a big believer in people taking responsibility for their own actions. That’s really what it comes down to.”
“So somebody who did something as terrible as what has happened to AJ… And God rest his soul. I hope people look at this situation and they take responsibility for the things that they’re doing,” Stokes continued. “And they think twice about what they do after the fact.”
The Outer Banks star then sent a message to the series’ youngest fans, those who are brand new to driving. “You know, if you’re gonna go out and go to a party and you’re gonna have a couple of drinks… Don’t do it, don’t get in the car, don’t get behind the wheel,” Stoke said.
“That’s to our younger fans who are just getting into this age range of being able to drive and do these things – don’t do it. Because we lost a beautiful individual and I’m still processing it.”