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Joseph Kennedy

A large crowd gathered Monday evening at the rock in front of Thomson High School for a prayer vigil and to remember Joseph Kennedy, a 2019 Thomson High School graduate. Both his preacher and his roommate encouraged everyone to be safe when they get behind the wheel of a car. His uncle stressed telling those close to you that you love them every chance you get.

Kennedy, 20, of Thomson, was killed in a single-car accident early Saturday morning on Cobbham Road in Columbia County. Bonnie King, Columbia County deputy coroner, said Thomas was travelling eastbound when he lost control.

“He was coming around a curve at a high rate of speed, lost control of the car and it flipped three or four times,” she said.

She said Kennedy was not wearing a seatbelt and died instantly from blunt forced trauma.

The accident was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was traveling eastbound about .4 miles before Mistletoe and coming out of the curve he drifted off the north shoulder of the roadway and struck a culvert,” said Sgt. Ty Mobley, the traffic sergeant for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. “He struck it and that caused the vehicle to go airborne and it rotated multiple times before coming to rest.”

Kennedy was, at the time of the accident, driving a 2013 Honda Accord that belonged to a friend. King said Kennedy had been out with friends earlier and went to sleep. The friends got up and realized he was gone. King said he left in a friends car. She explained, the friend had left his phone in the car, so they were able to locate the car by the cell phone’s location. They went in search of their friend and found the wrecked car.

However, about the same time another motorist called 911 to report the accident at 4:47 a.m. Mobley said the Honda came to rest facing west on the north shoulder.

“We were able to see easily where he first went off the road. It was maybe 100 feet before he hit the culvert,” he said.

Mobley said the car traveled appropriately 300 feet from the point where it left the road way to the point where it came to rest. The accident, according to Mobley, was attributed to speed and failure to maintain lane.

Kennedy was a former athlete at Thomson High School, where he played baseball and football. Beggs Funeral Home in Thomson is handling the arrangements and the obituary stated Kennedy worked at Plant Vogtle for IBEW-Local 1579 as an electrical apprentice and was a member of Marshall Baptist Church.