Spain Park student, golfer dies in car wreck

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spain Park students, staff and the surrounding community are in mourning this week at the loss of Spain Park junior golfer Bradley Johnson.

Johnson, 17, was killed in a two-car accident at the intersection of Shelby County 42 and Alabama Highway 145 near Lay Lake around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

&8220;Of course, we&8217;re all very upset,&8221; Spain Park principal Billy Broadway said. &8220;Everybody at this school thought the world of Bradley.&8221;

Broadway said on Monday that counselors would be at the school throughout the week to provide assistance to students.

Two other Spain Park students were injured in the accident. Jerry Prater and Lawson Steed, both 17, were transported to UAB hospital. Their conditions were unavailable at presstime.

Alabama State Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Sartain confirmed that Johnson was the driver of the 2004 Chevrolet Blazer that collided with a semi-truck. The details of the crash were still under investigation, Sartain said.

&8220;It&8217;s a tragic situation with these types of crashes,&8221; he said. &8220;We want to remind kids that they need to drive safely and also buckle up.&8221;

Sartain said it was not yet determined whether the students were wearing their seatbelts when the collision occurred.

The driver of the truck, Michael Churchill of Erie, Pa., was transported to Shelby Baptist Medical Center. His condition was also unavailable at presstime.

The Spain Park golfer placed second at the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur golf championships and was touted as one of the best young golfers in the nation.

He was a varsity letterman three years in a row and was named Spain Park&8217;s freshman athlete of the year in 2003. Johnson was also named the Robert Trent Jones Jr. Golf Tour Player of the Year in 2002.

Johnson was as successful in the classroom as he was on the course.

He was a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and a member of the National Math Honorary.

&8220;He was a fine young man and came from a great family,&8221; Broadway said. &8220;He was well thought of by everybody in this school.&8221;

Visitation was held last night at Shades Mountain Baptist Church with the funeral scheduled to be held at the church at 11 a.m. today