South Haven senior killed in crash remembered for his smile

Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 01, 2015
Devon Smiley (Facebook)

Devon Smiley (Facebook)

GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. — South Haven High School senior and star athlete Devon Smiley, 17, was killed early Sunday in a car crash.

Authorities said Smiley's vehicle veered off the road and hit a tree around 1:20 a.m. near the 1200 block of Blue Star Highway.

No other vehicles were involved and no one else was hurt.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said investigators are still working to determine a cause of the crash, but said alcohol and speed do not appear to have been a factor.

Trenton Smiley, Devon's older brother, told FOX 17 losing his brother has brought him "a pain he's never felt before."

Trenton (left) and Devon Smiley.

Trenton (left) and Devon Smiley.

"It's just surreal knowing I'll never see my brother again," he said. "He was just so giving, caring, so loving, and I'm going to miss him more than anything else. I would give so much to see him again."

Trenton told FOX 17 he and his brother were close in age. Trenton, is a freshman in college, while  Devon is a senior star football player at South Haven High School.

Several of Devon's classmates and teammates gathered at the school Sunday night to remember him, leaving behind smiley-face balloons and football helmet signs near the high school's entrance.

Trenton said he admired the passion Devon had for sports, but what he admired most was the way Devon loved others.


Memorials left for Devon near the high school entrance.

"He was always there for everybody, he loved a lot of people, a lot of people loved him," Trenton said. "It's just tough being without him right now, I miss him a lot."

As Trenton mourns the loss of the brother he never thought he'd lose, he continues to hold on to the memories he says will never fade away.

"My brother had one of the best smiles you could have as a person, it was big, bright and white," Trenton said.

A post from South Haven Public Schools said grief counselors will be available at the high school on Monday to support students and staff.

The South Haven Band's Facebook page also acknowledged Smiley's death posting that he "was more than a student or an athlete, he was a friend to many and he will be greatly missed."

Smiley is a quarterback for the high school's football team.

"Please keep our school community in your thoughts and prayers as we manage through this tragic loss," South Haven Public Schools Superintendent Robert Herrera told FOX 17 in an email statement.

Dozens upon dozens of posts have flooded  social media with the hashtag #devostrong with classmates, friends and others in the community posting memories and pictures of Smiley.

Friends and family are selling t-shirts in honor of Devon that can be purchased here.