2 YouTubers from Schaffrillas Productions Killed in Crash, Third Survives: 'I Have Been Torn Apart'

Officials said Christopher Schaffer, 25, and Patrick Phyrillas, 22, were killed on Sunday when their car was hit by a tractor-trailer in Pennsylvania

Chris Schaffer
Photo: GoFundMe

Two members of YouTube's Schaffrillas Productions team have died and a third is recovering after their car collided with a tractor-trailer in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Officials said Christopher Schaffer, 25, and Patrick Phyrillas, 22, both of Reading, were killed in the crash Sunday afternoon in Upper Macungie Township, according to a news release from the Lehigh County Coroner's Office that was obtained by PEOPLE. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Family and friends said James Phyrillas, brother of Patrick and friend of Schaffer, was behind the wheel of the sedan involved in the crash at the intersection of Hamilton Boulevard/Route 222 and Folk Road, per Lehigh Valley Live.

All three men are behind Schaffrillas Productions, a popular YouTube channel that rose to prominence in 2015 with its "YouTube Poop" series, per NPR. Named after a mashup of James and Schaffer's last names, the account currently has over 1.6 million subscribers and primarily features analysis videos and animations.

The channel, which James posts on, featured Schaffer and Patrick as guests, per Leigh Valley Live.

Schaffer and Patrick died from blunt force head injuries, coroner Daniel Buglio said in Monday's news release. Their deaths have been deemed accidental.

James was critically injured in the crash, per the report. A Twitter account speaking on behalf of the channel's editing team confirmed James' condition in a tweet on Monday.

The Upper Macungie Township Police, which are investigating, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

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James returned home from the hospital on Tuesday after three days in the hospital, according to a series of tweets posted by the content creator that evening.

"Home now after 3 days in the hospital, with my ribs fractured, my lung punctured, my body bruised, my heart broken. Patrick and Chris were my best friends," James wrote. "Been trying to wrap my head around why I was spared. Where I go from here."

James also shared a GoFundMe campaign for Schaffer's funeral expenses, which has already raised more than $34,000.

"I had no idea the two of them were so loved by so many people," James wrote on social media.

Schaffer's fiancée Amber Amin, who started the fundraiser, remembered her love as "a wonderful son, brother, friend, partner, and so much more."

"His humor and kindness have touched the hearts of many," she wrote. "We appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone during these difficult times."

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James said he "will most likely be returning to video work soon" and believes both Schaffer and Patrick "would have wanted me to continue my work."

"Please understand that I need a sense of normality to occupy my days, lest I sink deeper into despair," he wrote.

Schaffer and Patrick will both appear on the channel "one last time" in wake of Sunday's tragedy, James said. The duo previously recorded scenes for a retrospective of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3.

James went on to thank fans for their support and asked for privacy as he mourns the loss of his brother and friend. In the meantime, he plans to brainstorm "ways to preserve their legacy, be it charitable endeavors or otherwise."

"I owe them this much, given how I unjustly was the only one to walk away unscathed," he added. "Thanks again for all your kind words. Please don't judge me to trying to continue my jovially toned videos. I don't know how else to be. I have been torn apart on the inside and I need to cope in my own way."

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