Grandmother clinging to memories after deadly ATV crash

Local News

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Gertha Laws told us Tuesday she is devastated after learning her grandson was one of the people killed in an ATV crash in East Tennessee over the weekend. 

19-year-old Jonathan Laws was one of three ATV riders killed Sunday in the Windrock Park area of Stoney Fork.

According to authorities, the ATV fell more than 100 feet into thick brush.  

The riders were from North Carolina and guests at Windrock Park.

ETSU officials confirmed Laws, and another rider, 19-year-old Dillon Akins were both dean’s list students who just finished their freshman year at the university.

News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun sat down with Law’s grandmother, Tuesday afternoon, who describes Jonathan as someone with a tender heart. 

Gertha Laws said the only thing helping her get through this grieving process is prayer.

Laws said she is surrounded by family and friends and is clinging onto photos and memories of her beloved grandson.

Jonathan loved riding ATV’s with his best friend Dillon Akins, who he had known since kindergarten, she said.

She remembers telling Jonathan that she was not comfortable with him going onto the trip, but he assured her via text that he would be careful and that he loved her.

Laws recalled the moment she received the life-changing phone call.

Laws explained, “She[Jonathan’s mother] said there was an accident and Jonathan was killed. I kept saying ‘no’. That can’t be. That can’t be. He didn’t. He didn’t. I know he didn’t. It can’t be because I can’t take it.”

She said Jonathan and his friends were at her home in Erwin all the time, and not having them around is something she does not want to face.

We asked about funeral arrangements for Jonathan, Dillon and Dillon’s father. We were told a date has not yet been set, but will likely take place in their hometown of Weaverville, North Carolina.

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