Family of Ameria Johnson reflects on the future that could’ve been and a life lost too soon

Posted at 9:26 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 22:55:45-05

MADISON, Tenn. (WTVF) — A talented student and a caring little sister are how the family of Ameria Johnson wants to remember the 17-year-old who was killed in a crash Wednesday morning.

When she set her mind to it, there was hardly anything Johnson couldn’t do. Randy Johnson says whatever his daughter was interested in that month, she would always find a way to be successful.

We met Ameria about two years ago at Pearl Cohn High School, where she and her classmates worked on a tribute song for their teachers. The song was their way of showing appreciation for all the hard work. We watched as Ameria explained her role as a sound engineer and how she found joy in the technical side of music production.

Jill Brown is Ameria’s mother and says the proudest moment had to be when her daughter was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Belmont University. Knowing all she was capable of, made yesterday that much more difficult.

“It was too sudden. You just don’t know that when your children walk out that door, if it’s the last time you’re going to see them again,” Brown said.

Ameria was the passenger of a car driven by one of her close friends on State Route 45 in Madison. The friend attempted to turn left at the Rio Vista Drive intersection when 40-year-old Richard Griffin II crashed into where Ameria was sitting. Ameria was taken to a nearby hospital but died shortly after.

A GoFundMe account was created to help pay for the sudden funeral expenses.

Brown was waiting for Ameria, but after an hour she knew something was wrong. She and her son drove around their neighborhood looking for any signs of Ameria. Brown is grateful she didn’t take the normal route which would’ve led to SR45 and right into what would have been a terrifying scene for any parent.

Metro Nashville Police arrested Griffin for aggravated assault involving death, aggravated assault involving serious injury, and what’s now Griffin’s third DUI charge. They believe Griffin may have been drinking earlier in the day, but they also found four grams of weed in his pocket. A blood sample from Griffin was taken and is now being tested for alcohol and drugs.

As for the driver with Ameria, his charges are pending the completed investigation and a discussion with the District Attorney’s office. The Johnson family says the blame is on Griffin alone, but for now, their attention is on the talented young woman they will never forget.