Classmates defend student charged in post-prom crash



GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a teenager killed while heading to a post-prom party says she is not angry at the man accused of her daughter's death.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh spoke to the mother of 16-year-old Johlonda Lindsey, who visited Dejon Wideman, the girl's Meadowcreek High School classmate facing vehicular homicide among other charges.

Gwinnett police said the 19-year-old was speeding when Johlonda died along Steve Reynolds Boulevard near Beaver Ruin Road on Saturday night. Police said the car she was riding in swerved into oncoming traffic. Johlonda was ejected from the car. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Now track teammates are saying goodbye to the girl known for her fiery, larger-than-life personality. But many are also grieving for Wideman, being held at Gwinnett County jail.

"He was very kind-hearted. He had a really big heart. So he would never want any of this to happen," Huyen Nguyen said.
Wideman is also an athlete at Meadowcreek. Friends said he was excited about college. On his Facebook page, he even used the nickname, "College Ready."

"No matter what people may think or want to blame him, he never meant anything malicious to happen out of the incident. I'm sure nobody did." Nguyen added.

Johlonda's mother expressed similar sentiments to Kavanaugh over the phone. She said living with what he has done is punishment in itself.

"I'm sure if he could reverse it right now, he'd rather it be him," another student, T.K. Washington said.
Three other students remain in the hospital, but are expected to recover fine. Friends of Johlonda said her death will not be in vain.

"Just pay more attention to what we do, because it does have a lasting effect," a classmate, Michael Chatman said. "You never know one little thing you may do for fun may end up like this."

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