WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
55-year-old James Smithey died after police say the truck he was driving crashed after he swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle.
Friday afternoon, his step daughter, who is the mother three children that were also in the truck spoke only to Fox 17 about her loss.
"It hurts...like it's not real because he was such a big part of I know our family and our kids life," she said.
She was too distraught to show her face on camera or give her name but she wasn't too devastated to say her step father was a good man and a fighter.
"He beat stomach cancer," she said. "He's had a lot of surgeries and I can't believe he would die in this way. We always thought it would be cancer."
Instead, Smithey lost his life in a crash Murfreesboro police say was likely caused by a case of road rage.
Witnesses reported seeing a Ford truck and a white car driving erratically on Northwest Broad Street near Singer Road just before 7:00 a.m. Friday.
Smithey's 14-year-old granddaughter and two grandsons, 7 and 8 were in the truck when it crashed.
"My kids said that the other car cut over in front of [my step father] then slammed on the break and flipped him off," Smithey's step daughter said.
Witnesses say that's when the truck swerved off the road and flipped several times.
The children were treated and released. Sunday night, Murfreesboro police were still searching for the white car investigators say left the scene.
"It's tragic," said Stephen Merritt who works at a car dealership near the scene. "I mean to see somebody lose their life over something so small.
You know because our anger gets the best of us sometimes, it could cause someone to lose their life and cause a family member to lose their loved ones."
Smithey's loved ones say no matter what caused the altercation, it wasn't worth the price they paid...and they had a message for the driver of the other car.
"You have to live with it," Smithey's step daughter said. "What you did for something so stupid. You're trying to get to work faster or get to work on time and you took a life and you could have took the life of my three kids.
Police ask anyone with information about the second vehicle or the crash to call (615) 893-STOP
Monday, September 3 2012, 01:41 AM CDT
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