‘I'm just so empty … so hurt:’ Fathers, families, community mourn Lawrence Co. teens killed in wreck

Sixteen-year old Javion Brown and 17-year old Derrick "DJ" Wiggins died when the car they were in went off the road and hit a tree - leaving many still in shock

Posted: Jun 9, 2021 8:24 PM
Updated: Jun 9, 2021 8:50 PM

Two families and a community are grieving after a car accident took the lives of two Lawrence County teenagers.

Sixteen-year old Javion Brown and 17-year old Derrick "DJ" Wiggins died when the car they were in went off the road and hit a tree Tuesday - leaving many still in shock.

Derrick "DJ" Wiggins and Javion Brown (Courtesy: Jackson Memory Funeral home)

"When I got the call, it was just like it just felt like I was a part of him when he left," Derrick Wiggins, DJ's dad, said.

"It felt like a ton of elephants just stepped on my chest, the air was sucked out of me it was like I had no life," Wiggins said.

"I'm so hurt, I mean I didn't go to sleep until 7 of clock this morning, I've been sleeping in his bed the whole time, and I'm just so empty and I'm so hurt. I really don't know what to do or what to say I'm just trusting my faith right now," Javion's dad said.

Both fathers told me they're trying to think of the happy memories.

"He was a loving kid, he was a loving nephew, grandson, brother so we're just looking forward to all the good memories we had and trying to put these memories behind us as soon as possible," Wiggins said.

"He kept it positive, he always kept that big smile when you talked about his school, and his football team and his teachers, and he just was a loving kid. He loved to love on me and he loved to love on his mom and I'm gonna miss that," Javion's dad said.

The team the teenagers played on is also still mourning the big loss.

"You don't want this to ever happen as a head coach, as a parent either, for the community, nobody wants it to happen," Mac Hampton, the head football coach at RA Hubbard, said.

"You just try to wrap your head around it but you really can't because you just saw them you just talked to them then to hear that in a blink of an eye that they're not here is just unimaginable," he said.

Hampton had been Javion and DJ's football coach for years.. The team was preparing for what would've been a monumental year for them all.

"They were special kids both on and off the field, they were fun to be around they were always laughing always had something to say positive," he said.

Now, Hampton says the team is just trying to take the time to grieve - while also keeping the two in mind going into the next year

"They were all in shock and some tears were shed a lot of hugs and high five's and handshakes, but one thing they all kept saying is it's on now, we're going to play for them this season," Hampton said.

And even though their lives were cut short, .faculty at RA Hubbard says their legacies will continue to live on.

"These students will be truly missed, but they will never be forgotten," Rosa Allen Cooper, the principal of RA Hubbard High School, said.

The Lawrence County community is coming together to help the two families in mourning, by selling merchandise and setting up a donation jar at the local A's Cafe. All the proceeds will go to the family

Community members told me they just wanted to find a way to show the family how they'll be there for them during this time

"I had the honor and privilege of being with these boys for the last three years as the chaplain of the football team, and you see the pain and the hurt and you just want to find a way to help," David Ware, who is organizing the merchandise selling, said.

"I don't think a parent should have to bury their child and it becomes a financial burden, and we're here to help. we're in a small town so anything we could do to make it easier for them," Nathaniel Apostol, the owner of the A's Cafe, said.

Javion and DJ's fathers say they are extremely grateful for the communities support during this time.

You can donate and buy merchandise online by clicking the link.

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