Jesse Hawkins was turning his life around in a new direction, away from drug addiction. And he was helping other addicts when he died last week. Hawkins, 22, died after he crashed his moped and was struck by a passing car. The driver of that car did not stop.
Hawkins’ mother, Loretta, and family and friends held a vigil at the crash site, chanting “Justice for Jesse.”
“How could someone hit my son and just keep going, like he was a dog? How could someone be so cruel?” asked Loretta Hawkins.
The police believe Hawkins crashed while riding his moped, and then, while still on the road, he was run over. Paramedics declared Hawkins dead at the scene.
Hawkins recently wrote about his new drug-free life on a website for North Carolina Restoration Church. Hawkins had been living at the Winston-Salem Christian ministry, which focuses on helping drug addicts, for about two years.
“I am so thankful that I don’t have to wake up and stick a needle in my arm just to get by,” Hawkins wrote on the ministry website.
“This guy touched so many people’s lives while he was here,” said Joel McFadden, the administrator who first checked Hawkins into the church’s recovery program. “There’s people here getting their lives correct because of him.”
“He had a real heart for helping others. And he didn’t want to see kids get that far down the road, like he did,” McFadden said.
Hawkins had been to rehab before in an attempt to beat his heroin addiction. He finally succeeded at staying clean in a Christian environment. There, Hawkins read the Bible voraciously every day and began studying to become a minister.