A popular social media influencer was killed when he was thrown from his Jeep in a single-car accident this week, according to a new report.
PJ Simien III, who graduated from Texas A&M, and previously attended Kinkaid High School, was driving east in his Jeep Wrangler early Monday when his SUV rammed into sand barrels placed by the state Department of Transportation at an exit ramp toward the HOV lanes leading to downtown Houston, local outlet ABC 13 reported.
His vehicle rolled over several times until he was ejected from inside, the outlet reported. Simien was pronounced dead at the scene.
Simien is the cousin of journalist Ronald S. Martin, who posted an emotional series of tweets about the moment he learned of his relative’s death.
“This has been a tough morning for my family,” Martin posted. “I woke up at 7 am EST to do my @tjmshow segment and my phone had a text message from my sister. It was sent at 6:44 am. It said: “Good morning, Are you awake?” I knew something was amiss. I called her & she got straight to the point: our 2nd cousin, #PJSimien, had been killed in a one-car accident on I-10 in Houston.”
Martin recalled his cousin fondly.
“He was a great kid,” he wrote. “Strong, Christian, committed brother. His mom, Retina, and dad, Peter, are devastated. I have yet to talk to them.”
Simien went by @pgtheigmodel on Instagram, where he boasted about 11,300 followers and called himself the “Fresh Prince of Acres Homes,” a Houston neighborhood.
Fellow Houston musician Prince Cannon posted a heartfelt tribute to Simien on Instagram.
“Damn bro I’m sick,” he wrote Monday. “I can’t believe I’m even writing this. All the club hopping, all them wild nights, all that talk about being a famous pop star and moving to Cali…You lived life to the fullest and in memory of you I’ll return that energy.”
Friend Tameka Lord remembered Simien as a “free spirit [who] had no fear” — and he even once brought his small dog to a Jay-Z concert, ABC 13 reported.
“He was on a plane every week, going somewhere fun,” Lord said.
Simien’s final Instagram story appeared to show him drinking tequila, according to the report — but investigators have yet to confirm if alcohol contributed to the accident.
“Let Uber be your friend,” Lord told the outlet. “He’s the one that got me to start using Uber. I was kind of confused that he didn’t use Uber.”
Friend Yvonne Guidry, who partied with Simien often, shared similar sentiments.
“This whole Houston community, we all must do better in taking responsibility of our friends leaving an establishment, because it’s just a sad awakening that he’s gone,” she told the station.