ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Police say charges are possible for the driver that caused a car crash, killing two Anne Arundel County teens.
Andrea Fujii has more on how their families are trying to cope with this horrible loss.
Both families have mixed feelings toward the driver, who police say was speeding down a dark, windy road.
Family members say Jon Deckman and Jeff Giles were inseparable and on Friday night died together.
“They were best friends. Very close friends,” said Jonathon Deckman’s mother, Charnelle Parthemore.
The two were passengers in a car of five people driving on Lawyers Hill Road in Howard County when police say the driver was speeding and crashed into a tree. Only the driver was wearing his seatbelt. The four passengers weren’t, and that’s something police say could have saved the young men’s lives.
“There’s a good chance if he would have had his seatbelt on, he would still be alive today,” said Jonathon’s brother, David Deckman.
Jon’s family remembers the 18-year-old who wanted to be a math teacher.
“You hear people all the time talk about how their kids [are], about how wonderful the kids are but I can honestly say he was the perfect child,” Parthemore said.
On Saturday night, a vigil was held for 19-year-old Jeff Giles at his alma mater, North County High School, where his parents talked about his positive attitude.
“Jeffrey was just an incredible kid, a young man who literally changed the world,” said David Cole, Jeff Giles’ stepfather.
As police consider charges against the 18-year-old driver, the families are split.
“I know they’re already talking about pressing charges but we have no interest in that. That young man is going to pay in his mind for the rest of his life,” Cole said.
“It’s not our place to judge but if he was speeding and caused the accident, he is at fault,” Timothy Parthemore, Jon’s stepfather, said.
But for now, no one is focusing on guilt—only grief.
Police say alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The driver is still in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The other two passengers were released from the hospital over the weekend.