Family picking up pieces after fatal hit and run

Published On: Feb 12 2013 06:20:00 PM PST
Kevin Smith family
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The family of a Spokane man killed in a hit and run crash Sunday are now making funeral arrangements for 53-year-old Kevin Smith.

The graphic artist died just a few blocks from his home, on his way home from Safeway where he bought a dozen eggs for his wife Renee when he was hit by ex-convict Brian Storms as he was trying to elude a Spokane police officer.

Smith was just out doing the errands we all do on the weekend and then a guy with no regard for anyone's safety, ran a stop sign at Empire and Helena going more than 50 miles an hour. Fatal crashes are horrible scenes; the crunched metal, just a hint of what happens to humans in these collisions. But what's even worse than the wreckage is the damage to entire families.

Renee Smith and her two sons huddled in their front yard Tuesday to remember their husband and father Kevin.

"He was the kindest person anybody could ever meet. People keep calling me and telling me how he's going to be missed," Smith said. "He touched people's lives, if they asked him for anything he would do whatever he could to help them."

On Sunday when witnesses said Storms was cruising northeast Spokane in a borrowed black Honda, allegedly high on methamphetamine while Smith was doing a little shopping for his wife in the family's Ford pickup.

"Went to Safeway to pick up a couple things for me, that's all I need on your way to the studio, because he was going to go down and work  in his studio," Smith said.

While Kevin Smith was heading westbound on Empire, Storms was trying to evade a

cop getting ready to pull him over. Storms didn't want to get arrested for violating his parole so he ran a stop sign and ran broadside into Smith's Ford Ranger.

"So when he didn't come back I didn't think anything of it until the chaplain came to visit me," Renee Smith said.

Now she knows her husband's death was no accident; that Storms was just trying to spare himself yet another few months behind bars. It makes her loss that much worse.

"It kills me. I just can't. I mean it's so selfish, very selfish and it should have been him … not my husband," she said.