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New charges brought in Lanier student's death

Jhony Velasquez-Castillo 

Jhony Velasquez-Castillo 

BUFORD — Investigators have lodged vehicular homicide charges against a Duluth man following an investigation into a March 30 two-vehicle collision that killed a Lanier High School freshman.

Gwinnett police recently filed charges of first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving and speeding against Jhony Velasquez-Castillo, 34, who’s also being held for federal immigration authorities.

Investigators found that Velasquez-Castillo was driving a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee 30 to 35 mph over the posted speed limit when he collided with a 2006 Chrysler 300, killing front-seat passenger Jonathan “JJ” Campbell, 15, of Buford, according to arrest warrants.

The collision occurred about 7 a.m. on a rain-soaked Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at First Avenue, where the speed limit is 45 mph.

Police said Campbell’s sister, a senior at the high school, was driving the Chrysler and turned in front of Velasquez-Castillo. Jonathan Campbell died at the scene.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said Velasquez-Castillo was not considered the at-fault driver in the collision. He was briefly hospitalized, arrested for driving without a license, turned over to immigration authorities on April 7 and booked again Wednesday at the Gwinnett County Jail on the new charges, according to police and jail records.

Records show Velasquez-Castillo is a native of Peru. His rap sheet in Gwinnett dates back to a 2003 arrest for speeding and driving without a license, records show.