Student dies in car accident

Katherine Martin

UA freshman Jonathan Billings, 19, of Harvest, Ala. died in an early morning single-car collision on July 13 in South Carolina. Officials said the 2010 graduate of Sparkman High School was traveling on SC-130 when he lost control and ran off the road along the left shoulder. His car went up an embankment, struck some trees and then rolled down the embankment next to the east-bound lane of traffic.

Billings died on the scene of blunt force traumatic injuries.

Billings was a pre-med student and was recently named president of his pledge class in Delta Chi fraternity.

Daniel Barnes, a UA student and friend of Billings, said they met in middle school and remained friends throughout college.

“Jonathan was a great friend due to the simple fact that he genuinely cared about his friends,” Barnes said. “He always had a listening ear and was always one to whip out a quick one-liner joke to cheer you up. He was extremely smart but was never boastful about it. He was always willing to help people if they needed it.”

Joanna Warden said Billings was by far the best friend she could ever ask for.

“He was always trying to find a way to make someone smile or laugh, and that wasn’t very hard for him to do,” she said. “He loved to help anyone who needed it, whether they asked for it or not; if Jonathan could be of any help, he was there. I miss him being at work – he loved his job very much. We worked together for about two years, and there was never a dull moment.”

Warden said Billings always talked about becoming the best doctor ever after graduating from college.

“Of course like any other set of friends, we had our ups and downs, but we always fixed them,” Warden said. “Whether Jonathan was in the wrong or not, he always felt the need to apologize. He didn’t like for someone to be mad at him. He did everything he could to fix whatever was wrong.”

Barnes said Billings was extremely witty and had the best one-liners. “He was very selfless and determined in everything that he did,” he said. “He was the underdog, and he overcame scoliosis and the extremely painful surgery to correct it. He loved people and was genuinely good guy, and I know my friends and I will miss him a lot.”