Chase Stokes Says His 'Heart Is Shattered' After His 'Outer Banks' Stand-In Is Killed in Hit-and-Run

In a tribute on his Instagram Story, Stokes said Alexander "AJ" Jennings was "always always making others' hearts warm and being so damn selfless"

Chase Stokes is paying tribute to his friend and Outer Banks stand-in Alexander "AJ" Jennings who was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Tuesday morning.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a press release that the deadly incident happened in North Charleston, South Carolina, where the cast and crew of Outer Banks have been filming season 3.

Officials said a male pedestrian was walking on the road shortly before 2:30 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle that fled the area. The pedestrian was then hit by another vehicle, which also left the scene, according to witnesses. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died. No charges have been filed and CCSO's Traffic Services Unit is currently investigating.

chase stokes, Alexander "AJ" Jennings
Chase Stokes (left) and Alexander "AJ" Jennings. Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; Instagram

Following the incident, the Charleston County Coroner identified the victim as Jennings, 22, in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

On Tuesday evening, Kimmie Stewart Casting released a statement on Facebook, noting that the "Outer Banks crew & cast suffered a terrible loss when AJ was stuck by two cars, that fled the scene early this morning."

"It is with great sadness that I share on Tuesday Alexander 'AJ' Jennings' mother informed me of his tragic death," read the statement. "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."

Chase Stokes
Chase Stokes' Instagram Story. Chase Stokes/Instagram

"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," Kimmie Stewart Casting added. "I am still at a loss of words how this happened & cannot imagine the pain his family is going through. We will miss this amazing human & his infectious smile dearly."

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The following day, Stokes — who plays John B on the hit Netflix series — also spoke out about the tragedy, remembering his friend and stand-in with a touching statement on his Instagram Story.

"Still trying to process why certain things happen, and why the world works in the ways that it does," he wrote on Wednesday. "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."

Stokes, 29, continued, "I wish I had more words to say right now, but the past day has been a struggle to say the least."

"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❤️" he concluded.

Chase Stokes as John B on Outer Banks. JACKSON LEE DAVIS/NETFLIX

Co-created by Josh Pate, Jonas Pate and Shannon Burke, Outer Banks follows a group of North Carolina teens as they come across a treasure map that allows them to uncover a bunch of alarming small-town secrets.

Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey, Jonathan Daviss, Rudy Pankow, Austin North, Charles Esten, Drew Starkey and Carlacia Grant star on the series alongside Stokes.

The show became an instant hit when season 1 premiered in April 2020, and it kept its momentum going throughout season 2, which hit the streaming service in July 2021.

In December, Netflix announced that Outer Banks would be back for a third season. Production on the new season began this past February. A premiere date has not yet been announced.

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