LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said a single-vehicle wreck killed two R.A. Hubbard School students on Tuesday, June 8.
The two teenagers have been identified as Javion Brown and Derrick “DJ” Wiggins, Jr.
Authorities say the driver of the 2013 Ford Mustang was traveling north on Alabama 33 near Lawrence County Road 249 when it left the roadway in a curve and struck a tree. Both teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Both of the young men’s fathers are speaking out on the legacy their sons leave behind.
“[Javion] was just a loving kid. He loved to love on me, and he loved to love on his mom, and I’m going to miss that,” Javion Brown’s father said. “He always kept that big smile when you talked about his school and his football team and his teachers.”
“He’s every coach’s dream, he’s every person’s child. DJ could have been anybody’s heart,” DJ Wiggins’ dad Derrick Wiggins said.
DJ and his father had spoken about summer football camps just days prior to his death. He was hoping to take his football career to the next level after graduating from R.A. Hubbard.
Javion was looking into attending an HBCU or maybe even military service once he graduated. His father said it was a conversation they shared prior to the crash. His dad said Javion loved R.A. Hubbard through it all. Both fathers said Javion and DJ loved playing football for the team.
“DJ and Javion, they were both leaders on the field and off the field,” Wiggins said.
The young men’s football coach remembers them as friendly, charismatic and athletic.
“This senior class that was coming up, they were going to be special to me because they’ve been with me the longest,” Head Coach Mac Hampton said. “They were just special kids but on and off the field, they were fun to be around, always laughing, always had something funny to say, something positive. More than anything, they seemed to live me pretty good.”
Teammates hung cleats over the fence of the football field, where they worked out the morning they died. It was the first workout of the summer for the football team.
“They were happy, smiling as always, you know, it was business as usual,” Hampton said.
That happiness was something the young men’s fathers say was a staple no matter what they or the school was going through.
I just want to kids to follow that legacy that you can always turn something negative into a positive,” Javion’s dad said.
In the wake of the crash, R.A. Hubbard High School released the following statement to their Facebook page:
“In light of recent events, there will be no school activities on campus tomorrow, June 9. The ACT Camp for Thursday, June 10, will be rescheduled for a later date. Our deepest condolences are extended to the families affected by today’s tragedy. Stay strong, Chief Nation.”
According to a statement from Lawrence County Schools, both students “were very involved at R.A. Hubbard School, and they were outstanding leaders both academically and athletically.”
Lawrence City Schools also said the Board would make counselors and mental health professionals available at R.A. Hubbard on June 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students who need support. Additional counseling dates will be added soon.