Actor Chase Stokes is paying tribute to his friend and Outer Banks stand-in Alexander "AJ" Jennings, following the news that he was recently killed in a car accident. Stokes took to his Instagram Stories to mourn the loss of Jennings, writing that Jennings was "always making others hearts warm and being so damn selfless", and that he is at a lost for words. Jennings recently moved from New York to Charleston to work as an onscreen double/stand-in for Stokes, who portrays John B. on Outer Banks. Jennings' death did not occur during filming or on location for the series, which has been filming its third season.
"Still trying to process why certain things happen, and why the world works in the ways that it does," Stokes wrote in his Instagram Stories on Wednesday (via Entertainment Weekly). "My heart is shattered. Your life was just starting. We JUST talked about how pumped you were about your tunes, how far you'd come with that ole 6 string and your want to keep creating art. Always always making others hearts warm and being so damn selfless."
"I wish I had more words to say right now, but the past day has been a struggle to say the least," Stokes continued. "We all love you, you touched all of our lives and made us all better people, and for that – thank you, AJ. Fly high, angel ❤️."
According to a statement from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Jennings was struck and killed by two cars around 2:30 a.m. on early Tuesday morning. Jennings was then transported to the hospital, where he died due to his injuries. Charges have yet to be filed.
Jennings' passing was first publicly confirmed by the Facebook page for Kimmie Stewart Casting, which called him "a beautiful, kind soul & a bright light every day on set," and revealed that grief counseling is going to be made available for the cast and crew.
"It is with great sadness that I share on Tuesday Alexander "AJ" Jennings' mother informed me of his tragic death," Stewart wrote on Facebook. "Outer Banks crew & cast suffered a terrible loss when AJ was stuck by two cars, that fled the scene early this morning. AJ was a beautiful, kind soul & a bright light every day on set. He moved to Charleston from New York to work as our John B photo double/stand in this season. I cannot fathom the shock and tragedy of AJ's sudden loss and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
Outer Banks is a coming of age story that follows a tight-knit group of local teens (the 'Pogues') in the beach vacation destination of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When a hurricane kills the power for the summer season, it sets off a chain of illicit events that force the friends to make life-altering decisions. The search for their ringleader's missing father, forbidden romances, a high-stakes treasure hunt, and the escalating conflict between the Pogues and their rivals turn their summer into one filled with mystery and adventure they'll never forget.
Our thoughts are with Jennings' family, friends, and fans at this time.