Son of hit-and-run victim reflects on his mother’s life

Lamard Smith poses for a photo with his mother, Katricia Smith, who has hit by a car while attempting to cross the street on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Son of hit-and-run victim reflects on his mother’s life
January 19
08:45 2017

Submitted Photo 



When Lamard Smith first got the call last Wednesday night, he couldn’t believe it. Less than an hour earlier he was video chatting with his mother so just the pure thought of his mother being dead was something he just couldn’t believe.

“When they first called me I hung up,” said Smith. “Then I called her phone and I didn’t get an answer. It didn’t really sink in until they gave me her phone.”

Smith’s mother, 43-year old Katricia Smith, was hit by a car while attempting to cross University Parkway near Northwest Boulevard around 7 p.m. According to police reports, Smith was struck by a Mercedes-Benz driven by Christian Burke from Durham, who fled the scene but was later arrested on felony hit-and-run charges.

Exactly a week to the day she was killed, a candlelight vigil was held near the intersection of University Parkway and Northwest Boulevard in remembrance of Katricia Smith.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. To make a donation visit the GoFundMe website and type “Katricia Smith” into the search bar.

Earlier this week during an exclusive interview with The Chronicle, Smith said his mother was an humble, kindhearted person, who was known to have a smile and personality that could light up any room. He said no matter what she would be going through, she would always be smiling.

“I’m glad I got her personality,” said Smith. “She taught me to remain humble and just smile through the pain.”

Although Smith was raised by his grandmother, he knew his mother loved him and his younger brother and sister. As he thought back on his childhood, Smith said he respects his mother for the tough decision she had to make to let someone else raise her children.

“I respect her for what she did. I don’t know where I would be if she didn’t let my grandmother raise me,” said Smith. “I could be dead, in jail, or anything. It takes a strong person to make that decision.”

Smith admits the past week has been hard, but he also knows that he must stay strong for his younger siblings. As for Burke, 18, who is scheduled to appear in court next month, Smith said he forgives him.

“We all make mistakes, just some are worse than others. I know he didn’t intentionally do it,” he said. “He probably took off because he was scared, he’s only 18, so he probably didn’t know what to do.”

“I’m looking at it from both sides. My family is hurting but I know his family is hurting, too.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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