By Devin Fehely


SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Family members of two men killed in a horrific car crash in San Jose Saturday evening are questioning the police department’s assertion that the men were in a street race when they died.

“None of it makes sense. They had a lot to live for,” said Benny Lemus about his cousins, 33-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and 26-year-old Ernie Chapa.

Ernie Chapa (left) and Miguel Rodriguez (right)

San Jose Police say the two men lost control of their Jeep, swerved and smashed head on into a tree on Senter Road in San Jose around 6:30 Saturday night.

Investigators released photographs of a gray BMW and three men were racing the victims when they crashed.

The victims’ family, however, says the men would never be that reckless.

“Being a half a block from home, I know that they would not risk their lives over some random street race,” Lemus said at a growing memorial for the victims.

Lemus says his cousin Miguel has six-year-old daughter, who he adored. Ernie, the passenger in Jeep, was just promoted to manager at a restaurant supply company, Lemus said.

The victims’ family is concerned about a rush to judgment and is imploring the police to conduct a thorough investigation before reaching a conclusion.

“We want them to be remembered for the amazing souls that they were — not for some random race,” Lemus said.

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