WHITMAN, Mass. (WPRI) — A candlelight vigil was held Friday night in memory of the four members of a Massachusetts family who were killed in a crash in Orlando earlier this week.
The family was on a trip to Disney World Tuesday night when they were rear-ended by a truck.
The victims, Julie Smith, 41, and Scarlett Smith, 5, both of Whitman, and Josephine Fay, 71, of South Weymouth, were pronounced dead at the scene. All three were seated in the back row of the van, which took the brunt of the impact, according to police.
Julie Smith grew up in Weymouth and worked at Liberty Mutual Insurance where her coworkers say she was a cherished employee. Her daughter, Scarlett Smith, was also killed in the crash, but Scarlett’s twin sister Skyler survived.
Their brother, Jaxson Smith, 11, died from his injuries at the hospital. There will be grief counselors at the Hanson Middle School for his classmates.
Fay, the children’s grandmother and Julie’s mother, is being remembered as a hero of the Quincy College Community. She taught in the early childhood education department for nearly 20 years.
The Fay and Smith families said in a statement they “greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and prayers as we process the events of this horrific tragedy. We are truly heartbroken.”
The gathering took place at Whitman Middle School. The Whitman Youth Soccer Association organized the event, which was held at the school’s soccer field.
While the vigil honored the four victims, it also focused on showing support for the family members who survived the crash.