Jason Edward Smith loved his family.
His wife, Wendy, and daughters, TriStar, 15, and Mila, 6, were his whole world — his top priority, friends and relatives said.
“Everything he did in life was for his wife and two girls,” said Matthew Smith, his younger brother. “He would be so proud and so happy that people in the community are coming out and leaving something in his name, for his girls, to make sure they’re taken care of. That was his biggest thing — taking care of them.”
Smith, 36, of Kennewick, was killed Thursday in a hit-and-run crash near Road 36 and Sylvester Street in Pasco. A GoFundMe account is set up to help his family with expenses in the wake of his sudden death. It’s at www.gofundme.com/qwf6bg.
As of Saturday afternoon, more than $12,000 had been raised.
Smith had dropped Mila off at gymnastics class and was driving to the post office on Thursday evening to pick up mail for his small business, Logical IT Solutions, when his car was broadsided by a pickup. The truck’s driver was fleeing from police. He ran away on foot after hitting Smith’s car.
The truck driver is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-8, possibly in his 20s. He wore a dark shirt and blue jeans.
Pasco police Sgt. Rodrigo Pruneda said Saturday that police were continuing to follow leads and there was no update in the case.
Smith’s memorial service is 1 p.m. April 10 at South Hills Church, 3700 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick.
The doting dad grew up in Kennewick, graduating from Kamiakin High School in 1997. He lived in the Tri-Cities most of his life.
Smith loved golf and tried to make time to hit the links. However, the game wasn’t his priority.
Matt Smith said he asked his older brother to hit some golf balls the other day, but Jason was at the park with his girls.
“I’ve never seen somebody more attached to their (kids),” Matt said. “He was a big role model to me (as a parent).”
Jason Smith also was known for his big smile and easygoing manner.
“He didn’t sweat the small stuff,” said longtime friend Tom Carpenter. “There was no drama. He hated drama. He always had a smile on his face.”
Smith was a true friend, too, Carpenter said. In about 2000, when Carpenter returned to Seattle during Fleet Week after a Navy deployment, Smith met him at the pier.
“Nothing had changed, he didn’t skip a beat,” Carpenter said. “He was just a good guy.”
Carpenter also spoke of Smith’s love for his wife and daughters, for his brother and the rest of his family.
“He was loyal. He always watched out for his family and friends,” Carpenter said. “He was taken too soon, that’s for sure.”
Police have asked anyone with information about the crash or the driver’s whereabouts to call the Franklin County nonemergency line at 509-545-3510.