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The town of Whitman will remember four members of the same family who died in a car crash near Disney World at a vigil Friday night at 7 p.m. at the town's middle school. The Whitman Youth Soccer Association organized the vigil, which will be held on the school's soccer field.
Julie Smith, 41, her 5-year-old daughter, Scarlett, and Scarlett's 76-year-old grandmother, Josephine Fay, died when a 2016 Dodge pickup truck rear-ended their van on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Jaxon Smith, 11, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition and died Wednesday afternoon from his injuries.
The driver of the van, Shane Smith, had slowed down in traffic on State Road 429 when Lucas Dos Reis Laurindo, 26, of Kissimmee, Fla., drove into the back of the van, overturning it, highway patrol Lt. Kim Montes said.
Authorities will test Laurindo's blood sample for alcohol and other substances that may have impaired his driving.
Charges are pending against Laurindo, but Montes said impairment is not a likely factor in the crash.
Four other family members were also in the car, including Skylar — twin to Scarlett — and her 10-year-old sister Shalie. Shane, Skylar and Shalie Smith, and their grandfather, William Fay, were not critically hurt in the crash.
Whitman schools are on winter vacation this week. Counselors will be available at Hanson Middle School on Friday and will support Jaxon's classmates and his family's friends in the weeks to come.
Josephine and William Fay both served as faculty members at Quincy College. The school released a statement Wednesday remembering Josephine Fay, who taught in the school's Early Childhood Education program for nearly 20 years and worked as an adjunct professor there after her retirement.
“She was a gifted instructor, and her untimely death saddens us all,” the statement said. “She will be greatly missed by both her colleagues and her students in the Quincy College community. This loss is profoundly felt with the news of the passing of other family members.”
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