MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Classmates and loved ones of 18-year-old Jonathan Thornton gathered on the Buckhorn High School soccer field Wednesday night to remember the life of a student gone too soon.
Thornton and his girlfriend, 16-year-old Madisyn Echols, were killed when the 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse they were in left the roadway and struck a tree.
Thornton's mother, Anna Britt, and Echols' grandmother, Teresa Hardiman, spoke with WAFF 48 News about the couple's lives and how their deaths should encourage others to wear their seat belts.
Britt's joys for an upcoming weekend with her son were shattered Friday evening.
"I just miss him so much," said Britt.
The loss of these high school sweethearts was only made worse when their families found that of the three passengers riding in the car that night, Thornton and Echols were not wearing their seat belts.
And now, Echols' grandmother has a message for all teenage drivers and passengers:
"I cannot beg you as teenagers enough, whether you think it's not cool, it's not comfortable, I beg you to put you seat belt on. It makes all of the difference in the world. I tell you we've lost two lives," said Hardiman.
Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.