Exclusive: Man killed by drunk driver on Highway 99 ID’d by family

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The family of a man killed by a drunk driver on Highway 99 has started a fundraiser for his burial and funeral costs, with the remaining money to be allocated to a trust fund for his surviving son. A family member of the deceased man ID’d him on facebook.

“David Jerome Smith Jr., was a wonderful and caring young man. He was a devoted father, a person with so much light inside. He had a positive outlook on life, was always there to listen, and he accepted everyone,” a GoFundMe memorial in his honor read. “The events on that early morning will change his entire family forever.”

CHP officials said Smith collided head-on with a disabled Chevrolet Silverado after the Silverado crashed into a concrete center divider with its lights disabled. A CHP press release said the Silverado veered in-and-out of the roadway, traveling across northbound lanes of traffic before crashing. The driver of the Silverado was later thrown from the car.

The driver of the Chevrolet, lying in the road, was struck by a Nissan attempting to avoid collision and was transported to a local hospital, where he was determined by investigators to have been under the influence of alcohol. Authorities charged him with Felony DUI and Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated.

Pending investigation, Smith’s family is unable to view his body for one to two weeks. The South Sacramento CHP office expressed its condolences in a statement.

“Once again, another tragic incident caused by an impaired driver has occurred. What makes this worse is that the suspected impaired driver was underage and by law should not have been impaired to begin with. Please do not furnish alcohol to individuals under the age of 21, it is against the law and you may be held responsible if they are involved in an incident that leads to somebody being injured or killed,” the office said.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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