Former Eastern Guilford student sentenced in deadly crash

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WHITSETT, N.C. -- Rena and William Johnson are angry and say they want justice for their son’s death.

Their 17-year-old son Kie, a student at Eastern Guilford High School, was killed in a car accident on Aug. 26, 2015.

He was the passenger in a friend's car when the car crashed into a school bus.

The driver of the car, Jacob Larkin, was later found to be impaired with marijuana and Xanax in his system.

On Thursday, a Guilford County judge ordered Larkin to serve only 30 days of an eight to 12 year suspended sentence.

Larkin took a plea deal to one count of felony death by motor vehicle and four counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle.

Rena and William say the sentence is too light.

"I wanted justice served,” Rena said. “Justice was not served."

As disappointed as she is in the sentence, Rena says she's trying to make peace with it.

"There's no need in me harboring anger,” she said. “I have finally forgiven Jacob. I'm never going to forget because my loss won't allow me to forget."

The parents say Kie's loss has forever changed their family.

"Holidays are extremely hard,” Rena said. "I don't have any Christmas decorations up at this point because the holiday is just not the same without him."

Rena hopes her story can serve as a wake up call about the dangers of impaired driving.

It’s an issue she now speaks out about at schools and public events.

"Look and make sure that that driver is coherent," she said.

It’s a message both parents try to spread as they keep Kie's memory alive while trying to move forward.

“I just wanted closure,” Rena said.

Larkin will be on probation for four years once he is released.

The family has started a scholarship in Kie’s name called the Kie Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship will be awarded once a year to students at Eastern Guilford High School for college tuition.