• Parents of teen killed in alleged DUI crash forgive driver

    By: Chris Jose

    Updated:

    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The parents of a Cobb County teenager killed in an alleged drunk driving accident say they forgive their son’s friend, who was behind the wheel.

    Cameron Childers, 18, was indicted Tuesday on two counts of vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving. His friend, Mahlon Thornton was killed when Childers crashed his pickup truck into a tree in Cherokee County in June 2017.

    Thornton’s parents told Channel 2's Chris Jose that they will beg the court for a light punishment.

    Jenelle and Wayne Thornton said there's not a day that goes by they don't think about their son. 

    “Cameron was one of Mahlon's best friends,” said Jenelle Thornton. “They were hanging out together all of the time. He was a great kid and this had to be really hard for him.”


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    A toxicology report showed the presence of drugs in Childers' system at the time of the crash. Investigators said the truck was traveling more than 70 miles per hour. 

    “This was an accident, nobody ever woke up that morning hoping this would happen,” said Wayne Thornton.

    Mahlon's parents said they don't have any ill feelings towards Childers or his family.

    “We're not vengeful people,” Jenelle Thornton said.

    They haven't spoken since Mahlon's funeral.

    “He came to Mahlon's funeral, and I went up and I hugged him and I kissed him and I told him I loved him, and I didn't blame him,” Jenelle Thornton said.

    7 months later, the Thorntons feel the same way. They're just hoping the court will, too.

    “We do not want this boy to go to jail. He's not a criminal. There was no criminal intent here,” Wayne Thornton said.

    Mahlon's parents said they hope Childers will learn from his deadly mistake. They believe probation or community service is what he needs. 

    “Go to local high schools, local colleges, local youth groups and tell what happened,” Jenelle Thornton said.

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