Local teen killed by suspected drunk driver while traveling with his family, hundreds come to vigil

(WXYZ) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of a 16-year-old student from Huron High School in New Boston.

James (Jimmy) Franklin Williams Jr. was killed in a crash in South Carolina while traveling with his family in a Dodge Durango. He was ejected from the vehicle and killed. His father, mother, brother, sister and two family friends were also hurt. one of them, 18 year old Shannon Henry is in very serous condition.

The man who hit the Durango was arrested for drunk driving. Ricky L. Deel is facing five charges including; Operating an Uninsured Vehicle, Driving Under Suspension, Two Counts of Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury and One Count of Felony DUI with death.

The family of five and two friends were headed to Florida where they were supposed to go on a cruise to the Bahamas.

A vigil was held Monday night at the high school, nearly 400 students and some parents gathered. At one point, they sent luminaries high toward the sky in honor of Jimmy.

Principal Donovan Rowe from Huron High School says they have crisis counselors on hand for students. The school released the following statement:

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the Williams family during this time of loss. Huron High School lost a valued member of our family. We will miss Jimmy and we will honor his memory as a great student, a loving son, a good friend and a wonderful person. 

Huron High School has set up crisis counseling centers at the high school in order to help students cope with this tragedy.  Huron is a close and caring community.  We will be there for the families during their time of need, and we will be there for each other.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. 

If anyone would like to help, a memorial fund has been set up at The Public Service Credit Union." 

Donovan Rowe
Principal, Huron High School

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