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Father Speaks About Son's Death After Westerville Crash

WESTERVILLE (Lu Ann Stoia/Ken Hines) -- The father of a teen who was killed on the side of a central Ohio highway on Monday hopes his son's death can help save other drivers in the future.

Recent Westerville North High School graduate Brandon Smith was killed when his car was struck by a pickup truck after Smith ran out of gas while driving home from work on I-270, north of the Easton exit.

Smith called his father, Wayne, to request some gas before the fatal accident occurred.

"Even an 18-year-old son, every time he left the house, he said, 'love you dad,'" Wayne Smith said. "[I] Love you Brandon. I do it with both my kids. I never fail to say I love you."

Wayne found out about the accident when he arrived at the scene with a can of gasoline. He said he feels sorry for the man who struck his son's car, 25-year-old Walter Dixon, who will live with the knowledge that he is responsible for Brandon's death.

“That is a lot of punishment to bear for a 25-year-old kid,” Wayne said.

Wayne said the area where the accident occurred is well-lit, and his son's car's emergency flashing lights were on at the time of the crash, but he believes the teen made a fatal error by remaining inside his car while he waited for gas.

“Sitting in your car doesn’t pay. If Brandon would have gone and waited behind the guardrail, his car would have been gone, but he wouldn’t have been," Wayne said.

Brandon's family is comforted by the knowledge that the teen's legacy will live on through the donation of his organs.
 
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