WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - Friends, family and complete strangers filled a parking lot as they mourned a promising teenager who meant a lot to so many people here.
David Force isn't grieving alone just days after his 14-year-old son Jaden was hit by a car and died.
“I knew the kid was a great kid but I didn’t know he touched so many people like he has,” Force said.
More than 200 people came to Meridian Park in Loganville to mourn the popular eighth-grader.
With candles raised in the air, Monday's vigil gave Jaden's parents a chance to share hugs and memories with friends.
“I want to thank them for being here and giving us hope,” Force said.
His family tells Channel 2’s Matt Johnson Jaden was with friends fishing at Meridian Park about 9:30 p.m. Friday.
They thought they heard sirens so they ran across Highway 81 and that's when a car hit Jaden.
“He was the first one and that's when he got hit,” Force said.
Family friends say Jaden was outgoing and he was going to play football at Loganville High School next year.
“He was one of those children to do so much in life and he very well could have had this not happen,” his best friend T.J. Moon said.
T.J. says class at Loganville Middle School just wasn't the same Monday.
“First five minutes in school I was already crying because I missed him so much,” T.J. said.
Jaden's parents tell Johnson they're not upset with the driver, calling it just a tragic accident.
“I want him to know and his family to know that my heart's out to them as well,” Force said.
Loganville Middle School was set to hold Georgia Milestoned testing soon but the principal has asked for that to be delayed to give students time to grieve.
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