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Teen Driver Charged in Prom-Night Death of Fellow Student

According to information obtained from ajc.com and 11alive.com, a Meadowcreek High School student, Johlanda Lindsey, 16, was killed and three of her classmates were severely injured on Steve Reynolds Boulevard while riding to an after-prom party. The driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Dejon Wideman of Norcross, was a friend of Lindsey’s and a teammate on their high school track team.

Police say that Wideman’s vehicle was northbound on Steve Reynolds when it swerved to avoid a car in front of it. It was at this time, the vehicle driven by Wideman was hit by a southbound vehicle driven by Freddie Banks, who also is a student at Meadowcreek. The three passengers in Wideman’s Chevrolet Trailblazer, including Lindsey, were ejected from the car. The two other passengers, Colleena Walker, 15, and Kendrea Walker, 16, were transported to the hospital after the wreck, and Lindsey died at the scene. Both Wideman and Banks were treated at a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Mr. Wideman has been charged with vehicular homicide in the first degree, failure to maintain lane, driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving, and three counts of serious injury by vehicle. He was arrested on Monday afternoon.

Gwinnett County Police spokesman, Sgt. J. L. Sligar reported that a preliminary investigation indicated that alcohol did not play a role in the accident, but that speed may have.

Often times, teens and young adults fail to understand their importance to those around them, including friends and family. While it’s an absolute tragedy that this young woman’s life was taken, it is those that she has left behind who have to suffer the pain and loss of her passing. Lindsey’s father John told 11 Alive that he “hopes that more parents will stress the importance of wearing seat belts to their children, because if Johlanda had been wearing one, it probably would have saved her life.”

We offer our sympathies to Ms. Lindsey’s family and friends as they mourn her tragic loss. We certainly hope that the Walker sisters, as well as Mr. Wideman and Mr. Banks make full and quick recoveries from their injuries.

Ty Wilson is a Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney who has written several books that he offers free to the public in an effort to educate the injured and the families of the injured about Georgiai car accident claims. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to read Ty’s articles, watch his videos, and to order his free books BEFORE talking to the insurance company, signing any forms or even hiring an attorney. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information on teen driving and safety on the road, read Teen Driving Safety Tips.

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