Mom Graduates in Son’s Place After He Tragically Dies in Car Accident (VIDEO)

Graduation is meant to be a happy time, but for Katherine Jackson it has been a somber occasion.

Last weekend, her son, Aaron Dunigan, was on his way home from prom with his friends, when the driver, David Peden, drifted over a median and crashed into another vehicle, killing Aaron. The other passenger, Mike Crowter, was badly injured and the driver of the truck, Juan Rivera, 56, was also killed.

According to reports, Peden was under the influence of marijuana when the accident occurred. The 18-year-old has been charged with reckless homicide for their deaths, as well as driving under the influence of drugs.

The tragedy happened just days before Aaron was due to graduate from Thornton Fractional North High School. Since he was unable to be there to walk and receive his diploma, his mother went in his place–dressed in his cap and gown.

“[My son] knows his mom never walked the stage,” she told NBC Chicago. “I’m going to be his legs and he’s going to be my wings and we’re going to go up there and get our diploma.”

Aaron was an excellent quarterback for the school’s football team and had plans to attend Southern Illinois University in the fall.