Vigil Planned for Whitman Family Hit by Tragedy
Friends, family and local residents will gather tonight to honor and support a family from the Plymouth County town of Whitman that lost four members in a fatal Florida rollover crash earlier this week.
The Smith family was on vacation in Florida Tuesday when their rented minivan was rear-ended by a pickup truck on a state highway not far from Disney World. Five-year-old Scarlett Smith, her 11-year-old brother Jaxson, their mother Julie Smith, 41, and grandmother Josephine Fay, 76, of Weymouth were killed. The children's father, grandfather, and two other siblings survived.
This evening's gathering will be at the outdoor soccer field at Whitman Middle School at 100 Corthell Ave. The event starts at 7 p.m. People are asked to dress warmly, to follow traffic instructions, to carpool if possible, and to respect the privacy of the Smith family.
Police Chief Timothy Hanlon and Fire Chief Timothy Grenno say that those who wish to attend should enter the school via Temple Street (Rt. 27) and Corthell Avenue. Following the gathering, all vehicles will exit the school via Hogg Memorial Drive onto Auburn Street (Rt 14).
Parking will be limited at the school, which is why the carpool recommendation is in place. Officers will be on scene directing traffic and guiding drivers to parking spots. Any marked parking spot in the school's lot will be available, but drivers will not be permitted to park on any grassy areas or athletic fields. On-street parking will also be prohibited on Corthell Avenue.
"Residents of Whitman and Hanson are encouraged to attend this community gathering to show their support for the Smith family and their loved ones,” Chief Hanlon said.
“We are asking those planning on attending this event to be patient and to respect the privacy of the Smith family,” Chief Grenno added.