'Lovable' Gary man among 2 killed in fiery crash

2014-03-27T19:15:00Z 2014-04-10T19:19:05Z 'Lovable' Gary man among 2 killed in fiery crashLauri Harvey Keagle and Elvia Malagon Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

GARY | Two drivers were killed in a fiery collision and rollover crash early Thursday in Gary.

Jarrell Connell, 21, of the 300 block of Clark Road in Gary, died at the scene of the crash, a spokesman for the Lake County coroner's office said. He was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. from blunt force trauma. 

The second man was not identified Thursday night. He was pronounced dead at 6:10 a.m. from blunt force trauma and severe burn injuries, according to the coroner's office. 

Cpl. Gabrielle King, spokeswoman for the Gary Police Department, said officers responded at 5 a.m. to a call of a fiery crash at West Fifth Avenue and Calhoun Street. When officers arrived, they found a black SUV engulfed in flames with the driver trapped inside.

King said another vehicle at the scene was flipped over onto its roof. Connell was the driver of that vehicle and was pinned inside. The drivers were the only occupants of the two vehicles involved in the crash.

Alshay Connell said her brother, Jarrell Connell, was driving to work at UPS in Hammond when the crash happened. A friend who drove by the crash scene called her Thursday morning after recognizing Connell's car.

"He just went to church last night," she said. "For this to happen this morning, it's unbelievable."

Officers at the scene told her the other driver's speed may have been a factor in the crash.

Jarrell Connell was a 2011 graduate of West Side Leadership Academy where he was involved in everything from the football team to the school band to a modeling group. He worked at KFC and UPS in Hammond, but his dream was to move to Atlanta to pursue a musical career.

She said her brother went by Jaycee beatz and played drums, sang and wrote songs for himself and local artists. His music ranged from rap to gospel. 

He put the move to Atlanta on hold two years ago after their uncle was killed. Alshay Connell said her brother continued making music and was working on a website with a friend to promote his work.

"He was such a lovable person," she said. "He always kept a smile on his face. Even when he was grieving, he was still a happy person."

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