Kentucky boy hit, killed by car during walk to break in new shoes
WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been a little over a week since a driver hit and killed 14-year-old Johnathan Bridgeman while he was walking near Bypass Road at Redwing Drive in Winchester.
His family says he took a walk to break in a new pair of shoes. They never thought he wouldn’t make it home.
Johnathan, who his family and friends called ‘Jeb,’ was notorious for going out on walks. His parents say they had just moved back to the area and he loved how close his home was to shops and restaurants.
“We had called him and said it was time to come home and he said, ‘I’m walking home from Walmart, but you don’t need to pick me up. I can just come home. I’ll be there in 30 minutes,’” said Hallee Bridgeman, Johnathan’s mother.
Jeb was known for his punctuality, so when 40 minutes went by, Hallee knew something was wrong. When she called him, a detective answered the phone.
“‘Ma’am, we need you to come to the corner of bypass and redwing. There’s been an incident, and if this is your son, he’s deceased.’ We got in the car and drove to the scene, and Gregg identified him,” Hallee said.
Johnathan was weeks away from his 15th birthday.
“It’s completely wrong that he’s not here. I’m not angry with the driver. I’m angry that Jeb is not here. That the world is not a better place because he’s no longer in it,” said Gregg Bridgeman, Johnathan’s father.
Gregg says he was very personable and always cracking jokes. He was homeschooled but was involved in several extracurriculars including taekwondo, music and ventriloquism.
Gregg says his claim to fame was solving a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds while reciting Pi.
“He represented a person that has 100% guarantee of being successful in some way in the future,” said Scott Bridgeman, Johnathan’s brother.
Scott says he was always amazed by his brother. He says this is because Johnathan could learn to master anything he put his mind to. So much so that what he wanted to be when he grew up changed every day.
“We encouraged him to pursue acting because he was really good at it then he could become everything,” said Hallee.
“He was the best of Hallee and the best of me,” Gregg said. “None of the worst.”
The Bridgemans say their strong faith is helping them cope and the fact that they never missed the chance to tell Jeb how much they loved him.
“I just want to know what happened and I want it to never happen to anybody else,” said Gregg.
The Bridgemans say the Winchester police are still investigating. They say, as of now, it still hasn’t been ruled an accident and that they’re waiting on various lab results and surveillance footage.
They say they’re working on coming up with ways to honor Johnathan’s life as they move forward.
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