High school senior killed in crash days before birthday: ‘It still doesn’t seem real’
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) - A high school senior in Mississippi died in a car crash just days before her birthday.
WLBT reports the crash happened last week at an intersection south of downtown Jackson. Shamerria Smith, 18, was killed in the collision after a Ford Explorer hit her Nissan Altima.
The Jackson Police Department said the crash remains under investigation.
Shamerria Smith’s family said the collision happened less than a mile away from their home.
“We were home eating ice cream, and my middle daughter was ready to come home from work,” said Stephanie Smith, Shamerria Smith’s mother. “I told her to pick up her sister, who worked not far from where we live.”
About two hours passed, and Stephanie Smith thought maybe her daughters were just riding around. But the mother’s 16-year-old daughter called asking why Shamerria Smith hadn’t picked her up yet.
“I was trying to figure out where Shamerria was,” Stephanie Smith said. “I told my daughter I would call to find out where her older sister was and pick her up in the meantime.”
But before Stephanie Smith could get to the end of the street near her home, she saw several police cars and crime tape around what appeared to be a crash. Then she recognized her red Nissan Altima.
“I was like, ‘Is that my bumper?’ I pulled over, got out, and started asking people what kind of car it was, but they didn’t know.”
As she walked closer to the scene to speak to the police, an officer stopped her, asking her not to approach the scene.
“I said, ‘Sir, I think that’s my car, and I’m trying to find my baby. Where is my daughter? Please, tell me if that’s my daughter!’” Stephanie Smith said.
The vehicle was almost unrecognizable.
As one officer tried to calm her down, Stephanie Smith said a female officer came over to ask her more questions. Minutes later, she saw the coroner’s marked vehicle pull up.
Stephanie Smith said she almost blacked out.
“My mind just went blank. I just kept thinking this wasn’t real,” she said.
After confirming Shamerria Smith’s identity, her mother said an officer handed over her daughter’s license and cell phone along with news that no parent wants to hear.
“It still doesn’t seem real,” she said. “It’s still a lot of debris out on the street. When I drive past there, I tear up because I know that’s where my daughter took her last breath.”
Stephanie Smith said she would miss her daughter’s smile and calling her name. She wanted to travel after graduation.
“She loved fashion and styling and wanted to travel and see the world. She wanted to visit other countries and places,” she said.
The close-knit family is inviting Provine High School students and the community to a balloon release on Oct. 30, the day Shamerria Smith would have turned 19.
Police did not immediately release the other driver’s name, their condition, or if they would face charges.
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