Friends remember Eastern Guilford senior killed in wreck

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Friends said Kie Johnson was always full of life. He was the last person they'd expect to pass away.

"I just don't feel right," said Johnson's friend Stephan Brooker. "I don't feel like graduation is going to be the same without Kie. Because Kie was the heart and soul of 2016."

Johnson, a senior at Eastern Guilford High School, died Wednesday afternoon when the car he was a passenger in hit a school bus head-on on Knox Road just a few miles from school. The driver, Jacob Larkin, 18, and the three other passengers in the car all suffered injuries, some severe. All five in the vehicle were Eastern Guilford students.

Two people were on board the school bus -- the driver and a 12-year-old student. Both suffered minor injuries.

Friends of Johnson returned Thursday to the site of the crash to leave flowers and honor his memory.

"I just wanted to see where my friend took his last breath," Brooker said.

Those who knew Johnson all described him the same way. The life of the party, who always knew how to make people happy.

"He made me laugh every day. Every day I saw him, he made me laugh," Brooker said.

"He was supportive of everything," friend Jacob Hurd said. "He's one of the funniest guys you'll ever meet. Everybody liked him."

17-year-old Mikayla Campbell was another of the injured passengers. Her sister, Shaneal Turner, said Campbell is fortunate to have survived.

"She has two lacerations on her head and her arm is broken in different places," Turner said. "She's beyond lucky. She was on the side that hit the bus directly. So we're just happy she's OK."

Eastern Guilford High School will have extra counseling staff on hand to speak with students.

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