Community and family mourn the death of Colton teenager
Family and friends are mourning this week after Colton High School student Johnathan Dewey was killed in a car crash last week.
The collision occurred near Corvallis on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at about 2:30 p.m. when the 21-year-old driver of a Jeep lost control of her vehicle while trying to pass another vehicle, according to the Benton County Sheriff's Office. The Jeep then collided head-on with the car in which Dewey and his 17-year-old girlfriend were passengers. Dewey's family friend, Tanya Renee Moore, was the driver. Both Dewey and Moore lost their lives in the crash.
Dewey's girlfriend, of Molalla, is recovering from her physical injuries, including a broken collar bone, according to Dewey's father Robert Dewey. She told Robert Dewey that Dewey had tried to shield her during the crash.
"She was still holding his hand," Robert Dewey said.
Dewey's last moves align with his character, according to Robert Dewey.
"He was a really caring son and friend, and he was always trying to make everyone laugh," Robert Dewey said. "He was always the first one to come to everyone's defense. If you were in a bad mood, he did something to make you smile."
The Dewey family relocated to the Molalla area five or six months ago from La Pine, Oregon. Dewey's mother still lives there. Despite being new to the area, Robert Dewey said that the community has opened their arms to him in his time of crisis.
"The local community here, I've gotten so much love from people I haven't even met yet," Robert Dewey said. "It reminds me of home, and that's why we like it so much here."
Counselors from nearby schools were onsite at CHS Monday after the accident. The high school participates in the crisis response team for the region (Canby, Colton and Estacada), and Colton's guidance counselor activated the team in response to Dewey's death. Nine counselors from Estacada and Canby School Districts came out to support students.
"The counselors were readily available to meet with students and staff all day," Superintendent Koreen Barreras-Brown said. "They are an amazing team."
On Thursday, Nov. 29, students gathered together at the high school for a memorial service for Dewey. CHS students presented a slideshow, District Media Specialist Janet Davis spoke of Johnathan's kindness and CHS Principal Tori Hazelton reminded students how much they meant to all the staff and how difficult it is to lose one of them.
Friends have also set up a Facebook page, Love Johnathan, to share memories.
"It's helping a lot to read that, and there's a lot of support there," Robert Dewey said.
Dewey's memorial service will be held at Crescent Creek Church in La Pine on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 12 p.m.