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Friends of car crash victim still in shock

Posted at 10:14 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-09 00:14:27-05

26-year-old Charles "CJ" Graham was killed Saturday night in a car crash where his vehicle ended up on the roof of an Eastside house. 

"He was a great dude," Marly Bertrand said. "He had the best laugh and the most genuine smile."

"He was a teddy bear. You know, he's just a kind, happy person," Vito Faraci said. "If you're in a bad mood and you meet CJ, you're smiling within a few minutes."

Faraci and Bertrand were very close friends with Graham. Now, nearly a week after the fatal crash, they're still in a state of disbelief. 

Police say Graham was driving at a high speed and lost control of his car, hit a pole, then a concrete drainage basin, launching his car on top of a home off of Wrightstown Rd.

His two friends, who knew him since high school, say from their experiences, speed and Graham did not go together.

"He's one of the last people that I could think of that would be speeding," Faraci said. "Especially on that kind of road at night. That's what I just don't understand, how or why."

"We used to give him problems because he would drive so slow," Bertrand said. "He was like a grandma, he didn't like to drive fast, he didn't like to drive at night."

The three of them played football together at Sahuaro High School and lived together at one point. Faraci and Bertrand say he was the kind of person that could brighten your day, and always put others before himself.

"He was a big, bundle of joy in that family," Bertrand said. "And to have that missing from that house, that laughter, that aura, and that presence, is really tough for them."

"The world has lost, and heaven has gained a great angel," Faraci said.

There will be a funeral on Saturday morning for the 26-year-old crash victim. Loved ones have set up a GoFundMe, hoping people will help out with paying for funeral costs.