Local
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Massachusetts

4 Family Members From Mass. Killed in Crash Near Disney World: What We Know

The local community is shocked, and a candlelight vigil will be held Friday night

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • A candlelight vigil will be held Friday night at 7 p.m. for the four family members from Massachusetts killed in the crash.
  • There were eight family members in the van that was tossed onto its side when a pickup truck driver plowed into the side of it. A 5-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother were among the victims.
  • Charges are pending against Luscas Dos Reis Laurindo, 26, of Kissimmee, Florida, the driver who allegedly caused the accident.

Four family members from Massachusetts — two of them children — were killed in a car crash not far from Disney World in Florida on Tuesday. Here's what we know so far.

What happened?

A Massachusetts family was traveling just south of Disney World in Kissimmee, near Orlando, when their van was hit by a truck at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Troopers said traffic was beginning to slow on Route 429 when a pickup truck driven by a 26-year-old Florida man hit the van from behind, sending it onto its side and into two other cars.

Who was killed?

Five-year-old Scarlett Smith and her mother Julie Smith, 41, both of Whitman, were killed in the crash, along with Scarlett's grandmother Josephine Fay, 76 of Weymouth.

Jaxon Smith, 11, was flown to the hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead on Wednesday.

Other family members hospitalized

Two other children — Shalie Smith, 10, and Skyler Smith, 5 — were not injured in the crash, but were taken to the hospital for monitoring. Skyler is Scarlett's twin.

Driver Shane Smith, 43, and passenger William Fay, 76, were taken to an Orlando hospital in stable condition.

The community is in mourning

All four children attended Mary Deb Childcare in Whitman growing up.

"They’re a beautiful family, our hearts are broken, and we’ll do everything we can to support them in any way that we can," said Darlene Staples, the director of the childcare center.

Josephine Fay was a professor at Quincy College for almost 20 years. Her colleagues say she was a great professor, but that one of her greatest joys was her job as a grandmother.

"It's horrific, of such magnitude that it's almost unimaginable, to have members of three generations in one family," said Robert Baker, the dean of liberal arts at Quincy College.

"She's part of the spirit of Quincy College," said English professor Steven Dooner.

"I'm sure you'll be hard pressed to go into any day care center, child care center, on the South Shore, and not find someone who either was running the place or was teaching at the place who, at one point or another, wasn't taught by Jo," Baker added.

Whitman Public Schools will host a candlelight vigil on Friday at 7 p.m. at Whitman Middle School's fenced-in soccer field at 100 Corthell Avenue. Community members are encouraged to attend.

Charges are pending

The driver of the pickup truck has been identified as 26-year-old Luscas Dos Reis Laurindo.

He is from Kissimmee, Florida, and police said charges against him are pending.

Contact Us