UPDATE: Teen killed, Friend charged with DUI

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - It was supposed to be a "Celebration of Life." Instead, a young man from Henrico ended up dead.

Drew Johnson, 19, died in the front yard of a house on Whitlock Farms Road after he was struck by a car. Now facing a charge of DUI is one of his best friends, Nicholas Brooks, 21. The accident followed an emotional night in honor of another friend who recently passed away.

It was late Monday night. College-aged kids were having a few drinks in memory of a young woman who died from cystic fibrosis. George and Susan Barlow weren't bothered by all the people until midnight, when they heard the screaming.

"I saw the young man, still under the car at the time that we walked over. It was obvious that it was not...good," George said.

EMS crews tried to revive him. But it was too late. Johnson was dead...killed in the act --according to two friends -- of trying to stop his buddy from driving. The mourning process had begun all over again.

"Very distraught. This was obviously...a horrific thing for them," Susan said.

Friends like Ashleigh Anderson have spent the past day trying to make sense of it. There's now a Facebook page remembering Drew for his larger than life personality, and forgiving Nick for what happened.

"It was such an accident the way it happened. It wasn't intentional. Everyone wants Nick to know that we're not mad at him, no one blames him. I know he feels horrible, from what I've heard from his family," Anderson said.

The house is still a reminder that something awful happened here. It will be a long time before anyone forgets it.

"It's bad when something like this happens at a time when you're trying to remember a friend," George said.

Added Susan, "Parties like this go on all the time and the kids just don't understand that it can happen to them."

Right now, Brooks faces only the charge of DUI. But the Hanover County Sheriff's Office says the case remains under investigation, and more charges are possible.

Brooks has a bond hearing scheduled for Friday.

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