Death is more universal than life, everyone dies but not everyone lives. A. Sachs
This Memorial Website Was Created To Remember our Angel In Heaven:
Erica Nicole Smith
born in San Antonio, Texas
October 17, 1984
and passed away December 17, 2007
at the Young Age of 23.
Our Dearest Erica will Live Forever
in our Memories and Hearts
Erica was a Beautiful Person Inside and Out
She was Truly an Angel on Earth
She was Loved by so Many and Will be Missed by
Everyone whose Heart She Touched
This is A Tragic Loss for this World and
for the Family and Friends of
This Beautiful Girl who Loved Life
*****We Will Always Love You Erica ~ Our Shining Star******
Obituary Of Erica N. Smith
Erica Nicole Smith entered into rest December 17, 2007 in San Antonio at the age of 23. She was born October 17, 1984 in San Antonio to Robert W. Smith, Jr. and Lisa (Alley) Smith. She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Robert W. Smith, Sr. Survivors include her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Smith, Jr.; brothers, Bobby and Corey Smith; paternal grandmother Marie Ann Smith; maternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Reynaldo Alley; fiancé Michael D. Ceparano and his family; and numerous other relatives and friends. A rosary was held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 21 at Little Flower Basilica/St. Theresa Catholic Church, located at 824 Kentucky, San Antonio, Texas 78201 followed by a Mass of Christian burial which was held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 22. The committal service followed at Sunset Burial Park / Funeral Home.
One of the many articles from the
San Antonio Texas Express-News
Crash victim's zest for life recalled
Erica Smith lived an amazing life in her 23 years. Like the time she skydived in a hot-pink jumpsuit, grinning widely and triumphantly for the camera and giving two thumbs up as she coasted safely back to Earth.
A snapshot of that moment, which she titled "freakin awesome!!!" on her MySpace.com page, was one of hundreds of pictures shown at her memorial service Friday night.
Other moments of Smith's short life are locked in the memories of her friends and family -- about 500 of them -- who crowded into the pews of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower.
At the evening service, they cried but also smiled at the little things they loved about the Texas State University senior.
"When she was in grade school, she would lay out her clothes for the whole week," said her grandmother, Marie Ann Smith, as she fondly recalled her perfectionist granddaughter.
"She was perfect, that's what she was," the grandmother said.
But a car wreck on a San Antonio highway last Sunday snuffed out that "perfect" life.
Still, few people at her service talked about the collision -- or how paramedics left Smith for dead when in fact she had a pulse.
For two hours early Sunday, Smith remained unattended in near-freezing temperatures at the scene, a yellow tarp draped over her until a county medical examiner's investigator who had been called to the scene realized she was alive.
Paramedics responded to the scene again and rushed Smith to a hospital, where she later died.
Fire Chief Charles Hood vigorously defended his paramedics and said he had nothing to apologize for at a news conference Monday. The comment sparked a backlash among some residents who have called for his termination.
In a later interview, Hood said he was deeply sorry for the family's loss and didn't intend for anyone to believe otherwise.
Inside the basilica Friday night, Smith's father, Robert Smith, declined to comment, saying it was too soon to talk about his daughter.
But Roger Gastrell, Smith's uncle, stood on the church steps, fondly recalling how his niece always had been the loudest when the family sang "The 12 Days of Christmas" over the holidays. Gastrell said the outpouring of support by the community has amazed the family.
Then his voice took on a sharper edge.
Gastrell said he was angry, yes, but mostly at the woman whose vehicle struck the car in which Smith was riding. That woman, Jenny Ann Ybarra, 28, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
"The cause of the accident was not the paramedics," Gastrell said. "The cause of the accident was someone who couldn't see their way to getting a taxi."
But while he reserved most of his anger for the driver, Gastrell said he and his relatives also want to know why paramedics didn't treat Smith. They hope their tragedy will prevent another one.
"The family would like there to be a full investigation so that a poor girl is not left for dead ever again in this city," Gastrell said.
Smith's grandmother said she hopes the city's Fire Department will examine how it responds to future accidents.
"Being an EMS technician is the hardest thing in the world," said Marie Ann Smith.
"I don't harbor any anger," she said. "Erica was not capable of anger. It was not in her vocabulary. How can we be angry?"
Where do I even begin? I can't stand drunk drivers. The fact knowing that people do drink and drive, makes me so angry. I'm scared to drive and even step foot in a car now, but I got to do, what I got to do. Rest In Peace, Erica Nicole Smith. I miss you. Even though I didnt ever meet you, I love you. Your story has touched my life and it has also opened up my eyes. People just don't think it's going to happen to them. They don't care. Maybe one day it will. Whatever happens, happens. I will never drink and drive. I never have. I'm not. I never will. I finally got my family and friends to never do it, because I dont want them to kill someone, like a person did you. I'm so sorry this ever happend. I wish you were still alive. I can't even begin to just imagine the pain your family and friends have. You didn't drink and drive, so why do you have to be the one to die? I don't know the answer to that. The person who killed you is an idiot. I can't forgive her. She caused a person to die. A great honeybee dancer. A gorgeous girl. Love: Megan!
April 5, 2010
Im truly sorry for the loss of erica. I am sorry for missing the rosary and funeral i was in iraq on the 21st of december. Ii heard the news threw some friends. I want to say to bobby and little brother that i am so sorry for the loss and that i hope you the strengh to get threw it and to all the family as well.
to Erica''s Family
November 12, 2009
First of I would like to say that I am extremely sorry for the loss of your loved one. I had never heard of Erica or her tragic story until today. My mother walked into my room and found me crying. I was crying because I was thinking about my cousin David Anthony Silva. This month on the 24th will be his one year anniversary since he has passed. Like Erica, my cousin, was killed by a drunk driver. My 17th birthday is on Sunday and my final happy memory with my cousin was at my birthday dinner last year. Little did I know, a week after my birthday his life would be taken from him. He was on his way home from a movie on a Sunday night when an intoxicated man t-boned him. David was ejected from his vehicle and received major head trauma. Hours after he was rushed to the hospital it was determined that David was brain dead. This loss had a tremendous impact on family and friends. It is heartbreaking to think that because of the careless of one human being the lives of others can be taken. I don't know about Erica's killer but David's killer should have been behind bars this was his 3rd DWI. He has now killed someone and he has yet to receive punishment for his ignorant actions.
David lived with his single mother and younger brother. David worked at Broadway Bank, he was loved by every co-worker and costumer. He had a smile that was contagious and a personality that would brighten up any room. David's killer is still free and out living his life. While my family and I are forever chained to this horrible loss of our precious David. There is not a day I don't think of my cousin and want him back. When I decided to look up this woman, my mother told me about, I found her story on the news and her beautiful pictures along with the stories. Erica was very lovely with a radiant smile. From that one picture I could tell she was like David: caring, friendly, hard working and just an amazing person.
This website really made me feel like my family and I are not alone. I am sure you all were once just like us but I have hope that if your family can pull through so can mine. Thank you for taking the time to read this. May God be with you.
August 1, 2008
They should have checked vitals, no doubt, but try to understand that horrible things sometimes happen and the mantra of triage in EMS is, "do the most good for the most people". I have no doubt she is in a better place now. Her life was stolen by a drunk driver. Please try not to blame EMS. Love in my heart to everyone who had to suffer through this. (edited by website creator)