In the early morning hours of May 18, 2008, a drunk driver ran a red light and struck the side of seventeen year old Joshua George’s Toyota pickup. Josh was ejected through a window of his truck. Josh had taken his girlfriend and two classmates home after their high school prom in Bluffton, South Carolina. Josh’s killer fled without stopping or calling for emergency assistance.
Juan Olague Roman, a.k.a. Juan Rodriquez, an illegal alien was charged with felony drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident great bodily injuries. (1)
Airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, surgeons attempted to alleviate the pressure on Josh’s brain. Students held a vigil at Bluffton High. After two days, Josh had no brain activity and his family made the difficult decision to remove him from life support. Joshua’s family donated his organs.
Cindy Sprouse, a former teacher and friend, speaking to 2,500 people gathered at the high school to celebrate Josh’s life, told the crowd Josh’s heart had saved the life of another. "That very lucky someone got a very large heart," she said. "I've gotten to know so many wonderful young people in all the years I've been teaching. But none with the heart Josh has given to some lucky soul." (2)
The death of Joshua George was very difficult for the community. Josh had touched so many with his “sense of humor, his love of life, and his devotion to his family”. (2)
Josh’s father, Major Aaron George, died when his F-16 crashed near Edwards Air Force Base in California seven years prior. Joshua was buried next to his father in Huntington, West Virginia.