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Teen hit by car walking to school remembered for his kindness: He was a 'one-of-a-kind child'

Dorothy Porter listed memory after memory of her son J.J. - a loving teen who would help out in the kitchen and in the yard, and always took time to show her love.

ATLANTA — An outpouring of support for the mom of a teen killed by a car as he was walking to school.

Police said Jermaine Wallace, known as J.J. by family and friends, was hit by a car while trying to cross Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway to get to school Friday morning. He died Saturday at the hospital.

On Sunday, family and friends gathered to honor the young teen, who was described as loving - who didn't have a bad bone in his body. Dorothy Porter remembered her son as someone who got along with everyone. 

"He was so kind and so sweet," she remembered. "He loved school. He was so concerned about everyone but himself. That was J.J."

RELATED: Teen struck by car in northwest Atlanta dies from his injuries

Porter listed memory after memory of her son - a loving teen who would help out in the kitchen and in the yard. And would always spare a moment to show his mother some love. 

"Every day, I wake up, and I wait for him to come in the room. He made sure every day he gave a hug - 'momma I love you,' If he wasn't stealing my chips," Porter remembered with a laugh, through tears. "There's nothing I could say bad about my son."

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Family and friends lit candles and shared memories of J.J. - dozens covering the front lawn of his family's house and spilling onto the sidewalk.

Porter said the support, especially from friends of J.J. who showed up, made her feel as if the teen was still there. 

"It feels nice because my son lives in all these kids. All of these kids come to my house everyday, everyday," she said. "So it's nice to feel that love. Because I feel like I am feeling my son."

J.J.'s older sister agreed, saying although Sunday was hard, it felt good to honor his memory. 

"I'm just happy we got to bring out J.J.s' friends and ... just let J.J. go in peace," she said. "Just to know that J.J. had real love out there."

Credit: WXIA

She, along with several friends, said if he were still here, he would be laughing and cracking jokes - just living life. 

The news of J.J.'s death was devastating for all, including his cousin Markeon Edwards.

"What I'm feeling can't be described," he told 11Alive after the vigil. Especially to have somebody at 14 that looks up to me and tell me, 'cuz I want to be like you when I grow up,' and to see that on my way to work I get a phone call that he's in critical condition," Edwards said. "So, today, I went and got a picture printed, and I put him in my car because he'll forever be riding with me."

Credit: WXIA

For Porter, the pain has yet to subside - she said she hasn't eaten in three days. 

"People don't understand how I'm feeling right now. I feel terrible," she said. 

But, she's hoping to channel that feeling into seeking justice for her son J.J., her "angel." But, she's also sending a dire message to drivers on the road: Pay attention.

"My son was no bad child - he got killed by a lady that was not paying no attention," she said. 

"They have signs everywhere in Georgia on a highway. Stay off your phone. Stop texting. Put your phone down when you're driving. Stop speeding. They tell people this all the time. And for this to happen to my son like this ... I just ... I just ... " she said, trailing off. "I just want justice for my baby."

Credit: WXIA

Police said the driver of the car stayed at the scene. So far, no charges have been filed in connection to Wallace's death, though the circumstances leading up to the accident are still under investigation.

While the investigation is ongoing, Porter said she would continue to hold on to her son's memory, because, "He was one-of-a-kind child," she said. "He really was."

Jefferson Cochran contributed to this report. 


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