Family and friends remember the three young boys killed on River Watch Parkway one year later


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Monday marked a year that three young boys were killed in a tragic wreck on River Watch Parkway.

Family and friends gathered Monday to honor the lives of those three boys: 8-year-old Eric Smalls and 9-year-olds Jay Powell and Quamaine Jones were lost in an accident at the intersection of River Watch Parkway and Stevens Creek Road.

It’s been a long and difficult year for the families of Eric, Jay and Quamaine.

We spoke with Jay Powell’s grandfather, Carl Gaston days after his grandson was killed and spoke with him again a year later.

Gaston says he’s taking it day by day, but it’s a relief to know that he and others have made it through a tough year. He knows the boys would want their family to be happy, and that’s what he’s trying so hard to do.

“It’s been a year so every day is hard but you just learn to live and to deal with the pain,” Gaston said.

Grieving families comforted one another as they placed a cross at the intersection of River Watch Parkway and Stevens Creek Road to honor the lives of three young boys who will never be forgotten.

“There’s anger because that day that it happened could have been… could have not happened, so that’s the anger we’re feeling, but for the three little boys there’s peace,” he explained.

Gaston says he and his grandson were two peas in a pod and did everything together.

“It was just little special things that meant so much to him. I could bring him a bag of chips to lunch and it just meant the world to him,” he remembered.

Jay had just become a big brother days before he was killed. Gaston says he definitely sees similarities between the two boys.

“He’s papa’s baby also, but he’s just full of life, he’s joyful, he loves outdoors,” Gaston said.

There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t miss his best buddy.

“Just enjoy life and don’t ever expect that you’re going to return back home, because there’s a chance that you won’t,” he fought back tears.

Both drivers in that accident, Wade Jackson and Christopher Whitehead were charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and disobeying a traffic light. They have not been to trial yet.

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