Atmore teen dies in two-vehicle wreck

Published 7:22 pm Monday, December 8, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
The life of Gary Joe “Joey” McGhee Jr. was short lived, but the impact it made was evident through the hundreds of messages written on a memorial banner, his MySpace page and by the hundreds of people that attended his visitation and funeral.
McGhee, a 16-year-old Atmore resident and member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, was killed Dec. 2 when he, on his four-wheeler, and a truck collided head first around 5 p.m.
On his MySpace page, McGhee wrote riding his four-wheeler and motorcycle and being outside was what he loved to do.
Makayla Smith, a cousin of McGhee's, said he was constantly riding his four-wheeler.
More than his love for the outdoors was his love for others according to friends and family.
Tawana Parham, a member of the Tribe, said she knew Joey his entire life and watched him grow up.
Tammy Weeks was McGhee's counselor at ECHS and said she always knew him as a friendly and happy person.
His father, Gary Joe McGhee Sr., died a little more than a year ago from cancer. Grandparents, Avery Turner and Louise Turner, and great grandparents Verlie Bailey, M.C. Morris, Norvie Lee McGhee and Gladys McGhee preceded him in death. Survivors include his mother Christine Ward and stepfather Ray Ward of Atmore; three sisters, Tawaka Walls of Bay Minette, Crystal and Trenton Daughtry of Nokomis and Magen and Trevor Daughtry of Poarch; grandparents, Russell and Maxine Lassiter of Booneville; great grandmother, Hattie Lou Morris of Poarch; three nephews, Dameon Rolin, Maurice Gibson and Jaylan Daughtry; four nieces, Tonie Marie Gibson, Lexi Daughtry, Gabby Williams and Josie Daughtry along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A press release from the Alabama State Trooper's office said a passenger, Doris Godwin, in the 1983 Ford pickup truck that collided with McGhee was injured and taken to Atmore Community Hospital. The accident is still under investigation and no further information was available at press time.