Friends, family gather for vigil to honor 14-year-old who was hit, killed by car

ATLANTA — Friends and family of a 14-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car in northwest Atlanta on Friday gathered to honor him Sunday night.

Police identified the teen as Jermaine "JJ" M. Wallace Jr.

Wallace was crossing Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway on Friday morning on his way to school when he was hit. Witnesses rushed to help, and Wallace was taken to the hospital. He died Saturday of his injuries.

The car that hit Wallace remained at the scene of the crash, and an 11-year-old passenger in the car received minor injuries. A witness told Channel    2's Tom Jones that Wallace was crossing the street and the driver was speeding.


A large crowd of people lit candles spelling out Wallace's name and held flowers at the vigil Sunday night.

His devastated mother spoke to the crowd about the tragedy and her anger at the driver.

"My son was just crossing the street, and she came out of nowhere and hit my baby," Wallace's mother said. "I know she's out there, but I want them to lock her up and I want them to throw away the key."

She said her son was a self-proclaimed "mama's boy" and she smiled when she talked about the last conversation she had with her son.

"He came and hugged me and said, 'Mama, you OK?'" she remembered. "I said, 'Yeah, I'm OK.' He said, 'Alright then. I'm going to be right across the street if you need me.'"

The accident is still under investigation. Atlanta police have not said if they will charge the driver.

Wallace's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for his funeral.