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Brother Sees 273 Crash; Doesn't Realize Brother Involved

Published On: Nov 09 2012 08:44:46 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 10 2012 11:56:15 AM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

The brother of one of the victims involved in a fiery Highway 273 crash said he saw the accident unfold, but did not know his brother was involved at the time.

It happened around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning at Highway 273 and Buenaventura Boulevard.

The driver was 23-year-old Jeffery Courtroul. The passenger was 24-year-old Thomas Pimentel.

Their car burst into flames after running a red light and hitting a UPS truck.

57-year-old John Abraham was driving the UPS truck. He was treated for 2nd degree burns on his legs.

Jonny Soza, a member of our production team, says he was on his way home after a late night shift here at KRCR News Channel Seven, when he came across an accident. 

"I probably got there within like 60 seconds right after the wreck but the accident was still happening and at first, I thought it was a train. I didn't know it was a trailer and I saw it spin and hit a post," Soza said.

Even though he didn't know who was involved in the crash, he said he had a bad feeling.

"I already started crying. I didn't even know why. I was crying right then. I go back home. Thomas' girlfriend, Ashley, calls me up and tells me, have you seen them, they're missing and right then my heart dropped. I already had a bad feeling it was them," he said.

Within hours, his nightmare became a reality. He had lost his brother, Thomas Pimentel, and good friend, Jeffery Courtroul.

"It's been the hardest thing. I don't know what to think, what to believe. They're both the people I've ever met. It just sucks that I lost my best friend. I see them everyday and its like I don't even know what I'm supposed to do now," Soza said.

Soza said he knows they're in a better place, but is still having a hard time accepting what's happened.

"I'm just trying to get that image out of my head cause like I could really deal with him, I just can't deal with what I saw and just knowing what happened."