Relatives and friends of two Atlanta college students who would have been celebrating their graduations in the spring of 2025 are now mourning instead.
Morehouse College students Hugh Douglas and Christion Files Jr. died in a car crash Monday, compounding the Labor Day weekend losses that also claimed the lives of five Atlanta area high school students. Altogether, the holiday weekend claimed 21 lives on Georgia roads.
Those five teenagers were killed during a three-vehicle crash that closed I-85 for a portion of Monday morning, police said. Three others were injured.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, the two Morehouse students were traveling fast, going south on Church Street in East Point. After passing another car in a curve, their vehicle left the roadway, hit two power poles and overturned near the intersection with Linwood Avenue. Both died at the scene.
Douglas and Files were both studying business administration at Morehouse. Douglas interned at a company this summer in Los Angeles. Files, who was interested in photography and videography, created content for the college. The students were roommates during their sophomore year, the college said.
Though Files, 20, had moved off campus, the pair seemed inseparable.
“When I did see them, they were always together. It kind of seemed as if they were a pair,” said Mekhi Perrin, 20, the Morehouse student government association president.
He said at least 20 students spoke at an impromptu memorial at the campus chapel Tuesday, with several saying the two had influenced them to attend Morehouse.
Files was from New Haven, Ohio, on the outskirts of Cincinnati; Douglas was from Atlanta.
“They leave a legacy of excellence, passion, and dedication that will continue to inspire us all,” Kevin Booker, a Morehouse vice president, said in a written statement.
Douglas was the son of retired NFL star Hugh Douglas. Several former players offered their condolences on social media.
The former player posted in one message, “You were already a better man than me.”
Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this article.
Students who need counseling can call Counseling Services at 470-639-0231. The Student Mental Health Center is in the lower level of Brazeal House. And faculty and staff can call Cigna Behavior Hotline at 866-912-3339 or the Life Assistance Program at 800-538-3543 for counseling.
A Celebration of Life for Hugh Douglas will be 11 a.m. Sept. 16 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, his family announced.
A Celebration of Life for Christion Files will be 1 p.m. Sept. 16 in Columbus, Ohio at New Salem Baptist Church, 2956 Cleveland Avenue, his family announced.