Family of teen killed by suspected drunk driver speaks out - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family of teen killed by suspected drunk driver speaks out

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

DOERUN, GA (WALB) – The family of a Colquitt County teenager who was killed last week by a suspected drunk driver is speaking out.

They want 19-year-old Joshua Pritchett to be remembered as a loving and caring person whose life was taken too soon.

Along a stretch of Georgia 33 Friday night, state troopers say a suspected drunk driver struck Pritchett with his SUV then slammed into his Z-71 truck.

A few hours later, Billy Pritchett received a visit from a deputy with the news his son had died.

"He told me your son has been involved in an accident. I asked if he was okay. He shook his head no, and said he didn't make it," said Billy Pritchett.

The fun loving, big brother who liked to hunt and fish was gone. Leaving behind a grieving family to deal with a senseless loss of life.

"It was like part of my heart was ripped out, and that's a void in my life that can't be fixed," he said.

"He used to text me every morning and say good morning beautiful, I don't get that no more," said a tearful Heather Jones.

Still recovering from her injuries - she was with her boyfriend the night he was killed - sitting in the front seat while Pritchett pulled over to get a jacket from the bed of the truck..

"He would always find a way to make you laugh. I couldn't stay mad at him even if I wanted to," she said. The two had been dating just over month after meeting at an Applebee's restaurant.

"Actually the last thing he told was the he loved me," said Jones, who still wears a bandage over her head from injuries sustained from being thrown from the truck.

"I get up everyday and go to his room thinking he's going to be there. It's like a dream, and I'm just waiting on somebody to wake me up," say's Billy Pritchett.

The driver of the Chevy Tahoe, 27-year-old Shane Bush, was released from jail this week on a $35,000 bond.

He's facing four charges including DUI and vehicular homicide.

State troopers say Pritchett had his emergency flashers on at the time of the crash. The impact of threw him several feet. He was dead when emergency crews arrived. 

Pritchett's loved ones, who laid him to rest on Monday, say they want to see justice served but anger is not what he would've wanted.

Instead they pray, unselfishly, for everyone involved.

"I'm a Christian, my heart tells me to pray for him, and that's what I've been doing because he's got a lot that he's going to have to deal with because he took a child's life, a 19-year-old child's life," said Pritchett.

Right now it's about recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Confusion, anger, grief - handed off to faith - in remembrance of a young man who lives on through his loved ones.

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