JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local mother is feeling a small measure of justice for her son, killed by a train. A jury says the company that operates the train was at fault for the teen's death but she would gladly trade that money for the son she lost more than four years ago.
No matter how much time passes, Angie Whiddon’s pain always feels fresh. It’s been four years since she lost her first born child, a football fanatic as she describes. Yet, everyday is still a struggle to get out of bed.
“The hardest part is waking up everyday knowing that my boy is not here. That’s hard enough,” said Angie.
In May 2008, 17-year-old Wesley Whiddon and two friends were on the railroad bridge over Black Creek fishing off of a trestle. Wesley was hit and killed by a CSX train. The local football star's family sued CSX Transportation for negligence. They argued the train didn't slow down even though the crew saw the three boys’ running. The lawsuit also cited faulty braking equipment. Issues Angie hopes can be prevented in the future.
“There's not a moment that goes by that we don't live this over and over and over."
A jury awarded the family $1.6 million. Although Angie didn't want to talk about the lawsuit she says that Wesley's death impacted the entire Clay County community. Now she's focused on raising her other three sons.
“Wesley made his life, he made it count for the time that he was here,” said Angie.
Wesley's legacy will live on through a number of fundraisers and a local scholarship. That’s what his mother is most proud of. The Wes Whiddon Scholarship provides money for Clay County seniors to go to college. So far, they have helped 15 students with money for higher education.