August 16, 2018

Sole accident survivor overcomes injuries, prepares for college

Courtesy of  Melanie Ruberti/The Lagrange Daily News

(Lagrange, GA) — Jayvianna Johnson’s smile and personality light up almost every room she walks into — almost like a beacon in the foggiest of nights.

The 18-year-old is genuinely happy and can usually be found laughing and cutting up with Julie Smith, the woman she lovingly refers to as a sister, best friend and confidant all rolled into one.

The two share a special bond — one that was forged on the most horrific night of Johnson’s young life. The teen was the sole survivor in a gruesome head on collision Feb. 8, 2013, on West Point Road.

In a matter of seconds, the crash killed Johnson’s mom, Miranda Hurston, 37; her brother, Tridarius Harrison, 16; her 1-year-old nephew, Quamauri Harrison; and a family friend, Melanie Lemmon, 23, who was four months pregnant at the time. Lemmon (maiden name Melanie Sellers) graduated from Heard High School in 2007.

Jayvianna Johnson, 18, left, was the sole survivor of a horrific car crash in February 2013 in Troup County. The head-on collision killed her mother, sister, brother, nephew and a family friend from Heard County. Julie Smith, right, took Johnson in and is one of the paramedics who saved her life.  (Photo: Melanie Ruberti | Daily News)

Jayvianna Johnson, 18, left, was the sole survivor of a horrific car crash in February 2013 in Troup County. The head-on collision killed her mother, sister, brother, nephew and a family friend from Heard County. Julie Smith, right, took Johnson in and is one of the paramedics who saved her life.
(Photo: Melanie Ruberti | Daily News)

The teen’s sister, Shaquavious Harrison, 18, died a few days later from her injuries at a Columbus hospital.

The driver of the other car that collided with the family’s vehicle, Willie Hooks, 28, also perished in the wreck.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Hooks was speeding and passing cars in a no pass zone when he crested a hill on West Point Road in the wrong lane and smashed head-on into the car carrying Jayvianna and her family.

Troopers determined the man was speeding and was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Smith, a paramedic with American Medical Response, was one of ambulance crews that responded to the crash that night. She and her partner placed Johnson in their ambulance and drove her to a landing zone where the teen was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital.

Smith still vividly recalls the sight of the mangled cars. Johnson’s injuries and her fight to survive.

Read more of this inspiring story at lagrangenews.com

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