Two of the youngest casualties in the deadly tornado that struck Central Arkansas on Sunday (April 27) were only seven and nine years old.
Cameron and Tyler Smith were the sons of Daniel and April Smith, who used to work at J.B. Hunt in Lowell.
The tornado that ripped through Vilonia destroyed the Smith's home, killing brothers Cameron and Tyler. The pain of those young lives lost is being felt by many in Northwest Arkansas who know the family.
"You never expect it to be someone you really know," said Kachina Edgmon, a friend of the family.
April and Daniel are in stable condition at separate hospitals. Daniel is at St. Vincent in Little Rock, and April is at UAMS, also in Little Rock.
Daniel was told about his two boys being killed on Monday, while April was told on Tuesday.
"It's pretty hard, especially when you have kids of your own and you've known these kids," Edgmon said. "That hits pretty hard when someone you know loses their children."
Before moving to Vilonia last fall, April and Daniel lived in Sherwood and in Rogers where they worked for J.B. Hunt.
Edgmon worked with April and Daniel at J.B. Hunt. Edgmon said she is coping with the devastation by reflecting back on the good times they shared.
"We all worked together at JB," she said. "We would get together on the weekends occasionally, and have cook outs. BBQ's were a big thing during the summer time with a lot of us."
Edgmon wants April and Daniel to know they can lean on support from their J.B. Hunt family every inch of the way.
"We are all pulling for them one hundred percent," she said. "We care about them and hope they get better."
April and Daniel are members of ThatChurch in Sherwood.
April leads the deaf ministry at the church, which is very near and dear to her heart. Both of her parents are deaf.
To donate funds to the family, click here.
An alternative, for those that don't like donating online, is to mail funds to:
- April and Daniel Smith C/O
- 901 East Kiehl
- Sherwood, AR 72120