Charles Boykins, 19, died in an Alabama crash Saturday morning. He was a 2017 graduate of Brookwood High School. 
Photo: Family photo
Photo: Family photo

Gwinnett college student killed while returning from spring break

He’d only been in college for seven months, but Charles Jaylin Boykins had wasted no time making dozens of new friends. 

“He was so outgoing. Just the type of person that made everybody feel comfortable,” his aunt, Tara Dwy, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He just was a likable guy. He was just the best.”

The 19-year-old still made frequent visits from the University of North Georgia to his Gwinnett County home to visit his family. But for spring break, he’d convinced his parents he could head to the beach with his friends. His reluctant mother agreed.

While on his way home Saturday morning, Boykins was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Phenix City, Ala.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” Dwy said Monday night. 

Boykins was athletic and loved to work out, so he planned to combine that with his love for helping people and become an orthopedic surgeon, his family said. After graduating from Brookwood High School in 2017, Boykins moved to his dorm room in August, Dwy said. 

“He was the smartest, brightest kid ever,” Dwy said. “He was definitely going to go far.”

But never too far from his sister, just 14 months younger. Boykins grew up playing football, and his sister Cheyenne was a cheerleader. As teenagers, the two were exceptionally close, the family said. 

His mother worried about letting her son go to Panama City without his family. She even considered going to pick him up when he got sick during the trip. 

“She just had a horrible, uneasy feeling,” Dwy said. “(But) she wanted to give him his space.”

Saturday morning, the family got a dreaded phone call from investigators. Boykins was a passenger in a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer that left the roadway around 8:56 a.m. on U.S. 431. He died from injuries. 

Since his death, Dwy said the family has been overwhelmed by the support from neighbors and friends, many stopping by to express their condolences. 

In addition to his aunt and sister, Boykins is survived by his parents, Bobbie and Ingram, and numerous other relatives. Funeral arrangements had not been finalized late Monday. A Go Fund Me page has been created to assist the family. 

In other news:

Investigators said the driver of a red Ford Mustang lost control, started to slide sideways and that’s when another car heading in the opposite direction crashed head on.

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