MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The Gurley community is mourning the loss of a young man with a big personality. Christian Bedenbaugh lost his life early Sunday morning, when he collided with a semi on Highway 72 just east of Shields Road.
Details from county officials are still very limited, but they say the 22-year-old was driving by himself when a semi crossed in front of him and they collided with such force, that Christian's car went underneath the truck.
Now the brothers are not only mourning the loss of a sibling, they're missing their best friend.
“He was loved by so many, and people loved him," says Hunter Bedenbaugh, Christian's brother.
You need only see the multitude of cars near his mother's driveway to understand how much Christian will be missed.
"He’d give his shirt off his back for you and not want anything back," says Hunter.
“He was the most fun-loving kid I’ve ever been around in my entire life. He always knew how to have a good time and make everybody laugh," says Taylor Bedenbaugh, Christian's oldest brother.
You need only talk to his brothers to understand how much he was loved.
“He was our best friend and we’re going to miss him a lot," says Taylor.
By all accounts, the 22-year-old Madison County High grad was the life of the party and loved spending as much time as possible enjoying Mother Nature.
“Outdoorsman. Fishing, anything he could do outdoors and anything he could get in trouble doing outdoors, he was game for," says both brothers.
It makes his sudden death, on a highway he had taken countless times before, that much more tragic.
"Just a really, really really smart kid, making a bad decision," says Taylor Bedenbaugh.
The eldest brother has a plea to all young drivers: Your actions behind the wheel have consequences.
“Just be careful when you drive and always make smart decisions because I would not wish this pain upon anybody else ever," he says.
You need only look at the GoFundMe page set up in Christian's honor to understand how much this family is loved. So far, the page has raised more than $4,000 in just two days.
“It’s just unbelievable the amount of caring and charity people are willing to give to a tragedy like this especially when it's a really tight community like Gurley is," says Taylor.
Every gesture, whether dollars and cents or wheels near a driveway, means more to this family than they could possibly put into words.
“If anyone wants to help, just a call or text message or just stopping by and seeing my mom would be suffice enough," he says. “It’s gonna be a difficult journey but I think with my mom and the rest of our family we’ll just get through it all together”
Christian Bedenbaugh's visitation will be tomorrow evening, from 6-8 p.m., at Berry Hill Funeral Home.
The funeral service will also be held there on at Wednesday at 11 a.m.