Friends, family remember Horizon High grad Joe Smith killed in Quartzsite crash

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 12:09:48-04

A north Valley community is mourning the loss of a teen who was killed in a crash on I-10 on Friday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says 18-year-old Joe Smith was heading home from California with three friends when multiple cars piled up on the interstate near Quartzsite.

A vehicle hit the car Smith was in, causing it to rear-end a flatbed truck.

Smith was pronounced dead on the scene and his friends were taken to the hospital. A GoFundMe page set up to help with expenses said the three need surgery. A page has also been set up to cover Smith's funeral expenses.

Smith had just graduated Horizon High School two weeks ago, according to his family.

They sent ABC15 a statement today:

“Joe - Incredible young man, with a beautiful spirit. Loved by everyone who knew him or knew of him. He had an entrepreneurial spirit from the age of 5 and "owned" many businesses from lemonade stands to a mowing service. His work ethic was unparalleled. He was extremely athletic and excelled at every sport he tried. He was part of the Horizon Huskies state championship Hockey team.this past year. He loved fishing, hunting, shooting and golf and lived everyday to the fullest. Many believed he would be the President someday. We all KNEW he would do something amazing with his life, because he was larger then life. We feel deprived for having him taken from us and not being able to witness what he would have accomplished!”

A second driver involved in the crash, Joseph Garcia, also died.

A memorial for Smith will take place at Horizon High School on Monday at 10:00 a.m.