by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —
A Gwinnett County high school student was charged with two misdemeanors in connection with a crash that killed his father.
Five months after the SUV he was driving rolled off Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, 17-year-old , Amadi Stephens was charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide and failure to maintain his lane.
Police said Stephens lost control of the SUV, over-corrected and rolled.
His father, Bruce Stephens, was ejected from the vehicle.
Police said Bruce Stephens was not wearing a seat belt and Amadi Stephens had no driver's license or permit.
"It's my understanding that the father had a suspended license, was not feeling well and asked the son to drive,” said Cpl. Troy Tobler.
Rev. Frank Cox serves as chaplain for the football team at Collins Hill High School, where he said Stephens is a standout on the field and in the classroom.
"I've watched him weather the storm. I've watched him handle it with grace," said Cox.
Cox also said Stephens has dealt with more than his share of adversity, first losing his mother to cancer, then his father in April.
Gwinnett County Police said they cannot pick and choose when they enforce the law. They told Channel 2 Action News that Stephens is legally an adult.
"Police officers are generally sympathetic people,” said Tobler. “However, we have a job to do, and we have to do it equally across the board."
They added while they can’t use discretion, the extenuating circumstances can be raised in court.
"They have to do their job and we'll, as a community, we'll support Amadi the best way we can,” Cox said.
The teenager has bonded out of jail.