Local Marine and Family Laid to Rest

Ozark, AL - Three caskets lined the front of the Ozark Civic Center Wednesday. A father, mother, and six month old baby boy taken too soon.

“A beautiful young family and to have them all die at one time is such a tragedy. I don’t even know what to say to the family. What do you say when something like this happens,” asked family friend, Terry Knight.

Marine Corporal Luther Stephen Smith, 22, his wife Angel, 20, and baby Preston had been home to Ariton visiting. Last Tuesday, while driving back to Virginia they were tragically killed in a car accident.

“Here we are with a young couple and they have their life ahead of them. It’s a tragedy,” said Wiregrass Patriot Guard Senior Ride Captain, Jimmy Shiver.

“You never think in one quick moment an entire family is just going to be lost in such a way. It’s devastating. You can’t describe the feeling that’s going to be left in your heart,” said Marine Captain Josh Noxon.

Noxon was Smith’s platoon commander. He and others from the marine base in Quantico, Virginia took part in the ceremony to honor one of their brothers.

“It’s never easy. All you can do is celebrate the life of Cpl Smith and his family. He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten,” he said.

Support didn’t end with the marines. The Wiregrass Patriot Guard, local police and firemen, as well as the community came out to remember the young family.

News 4 was told Stephen and Angel were high school sweethearts, and this was the first time the two had been home with baby Preston.

Corporal Smith had served overseas in Afghanistan twice.


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