by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:
NORCROSS, Ga. - Police say a 19-year-old has been charged in the death of a Meadowcreek High student killed on the way to a post-prom party.
Dejon Wideman was allegedly speeding with a car full of his friends, and now he is charged with felony vehicular homicide and several other charges.
Johlonda Lindsey died in that Sunday morning car crash that hurt three others along Steve Reynolds Boulevard near Beaver Ruin Road in Gwinnett County, police said. Police said a car crossed the center line and hit another. Family members said the impact threw Johlonda from the car.
"It might would have saved my daughter's life if she'd had a seat belt on," Lindsey said.
The teen's father, John Lindsey, told Channel 2's Amy Napieri Viteri his daughter was on her way to a party following Meadowcreek's prom Saturday night.
The 16-year-old did not attend the prom, but was in a car with several other students traveling on Steve Reynolds Boulevard.
"They were coming from the party and speeding, racing," Lindsey said. "It's just hard to believe that she's gone. Sixteen years old. It's hard to believe."
He joined dozens of students and faculty members at Johlonda's school for a candlelight vigil.
Johlonda's friend, Gisele Lopez, tearfully described the 11th-grade track team member as loyal and loving.
"You could always count on her for anything," Lopez said.
Track and field coach Kevin Crawley said he watched Lindsey grow since freshman year, as an athlete and a person.
"She just soared. She broke school records this year, I mean, and came within a race of going to states," Crawley said.
Meanwhile, Lindsey said the charges for the teen accused in her death are fitting.
"He's the one who was driving that car and he was the one who was speeding and lost control of it. So he deserves what he's getting," John Lindsey said.
Crawley said the driver is a former member of the track and field team, a senior getting ready to graduate.
Police said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.