Family remembers two cousins killed in San Jose street race crash

Bay Area

SAN JOSE (KRON) – A family is desperate for answers as San Jose police search for a second car involved in a suspected street race on Saturday.

Police say three suspects fled the scene after a black Jeep lost control and crashed.

Cousins 33-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and 26-year-old Ernesto Chapa were inside that Jeep and died after crashing into a tree near Snell and Rosenbaum Avenues.

The family spent a majority of the day sitting at the memorial that’s growing for both victims.

The family says the two lived just around the block and they don’t believe they would have risked their lives racing when this crash happened.

“The lives they lived will not be forgotten but cherished. God bless you guys,” Benny Lemus said.

Brothers Benny Lemus and Juan Carlos Alvarenga are remembering their cousins.

“They had the biggest hearts, full of laughter and love. Didn’t matter who you were they would welcome you like family,” Lemus said.

San Jose police say Rodriguez and Chapa crashed while street racing with a gray BMW.

They say three suspects stopped after the collision, got out of that BMW to look at the wreckage and then took off.

Rodriguez and Chapa’s cousins say it doesn’t make sense.

“Being half a block away from home I would never. I know they would not risk their lives over some random street race going down across the street. Doesn’t make sense. They had a lot to live for,” Lemus said.

Lemus says Rodriguez leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter.

“Miguel lives and breaths for his daughter Mikala. He always made sure she was happy and healthy and full of energy. Erny was everyone’s best friend. He was a role model to his nieces and nephews,” Lemus said.

Now the family is asking for more information saying that the second car also has responsibility.

“Hope they find the other car, perpetrators or the suspects just so they can get the full story. We just want to know what happened,” Lemus said.

The family is planning a memorial for both victims.

If you recognize those suspects or the car they were riding in, contact police.

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