GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga — A man accused of racing his truck at more than 80 miles per hour along a busy Gwinnett County road is in jail after allegedly killing an innocent driver, according to police.
Jeffrey Shannon Smith’s family said he would have done anything for his 10- and 12-year-old daughters that he left behind.
Channel 2′s Matt Johnson spoke with Smith’s family on Tuesday.
“He certainly was a devoted father to two girls,” said Rosemary Mangum, his aunt. “They were extremely close, as close as any father could be with his children.”
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Their relationship is why the 50-year-old husband and father’s death is even more heartbreaking for his loved ones.
Police say 27-year-old Javier Ramirez was driving an illegally modified truck when he crashed into Smith on July 31 while racing a juvenile driver in another vehicle. The crash happened at around 10:30 p.m. that day as Smith was exiting an Arby’s near Braselton Highway and Hamilton Creek Parkway in Dacula.
Ramirez was arrested last Wednesday and remains at the Gwinnett County Jail facing vehicular homicide charges, among others.
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“[Street racing] is creating a lot of a lot of deaths, unnecessary deaths,” said Mangum.
Gwinnett County police conducted an accident reconstruction as part as their lengthy investigation into the crash before making an arrest. The department also conducts regular street racing details to try and stop reckless driving before it turns deadly.
Smith’s family said they hope this tragedy is a wake-up call for others.
“Unfortunately, it was my nephew,” said Mangum. “but it could have been anybody.”
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