Mom Trying to Help Crash Victim Plunges to Own Death

SC's Jessica Smith apparently misjudged how high bridge was
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2015 8:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – A South Carolina family is burying its second family member in two months and a 9-year-old boy is left without a mom after a 29-year-old Good Samaritan fell to her death while trying to help an injured truck driver, WYFF reports. "Heartbroken and empty" is how Hope Smith describes how she feels over the loss of sister Jessica Nicole Smith, who came across an accident scene in the early morning hours Saturday. A man had been thrown from his truck when it crashed, witnesses say, and Jessica Smith was just one of many who came across the wrecked pickup on Interstate 385. "She was the one [who] wanted me to pull over to see if [the driver] was OK," Smith's cousin, who was with her as they drove by the scene around 1:45am, tells WSPA.

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When Smith, a certified nursing assistant, didn't find anyone in the truck, she leaned over the bridge over Highway 276 and yelled down, Fox Carolina reports. Witnesses say she heard yelling back and flung both legs over the bridge, apparently thinking the ground wasn't far below; she fell 23 feet to her death, per the Greenville County coroner. Hope Smith says she'll take in Jessica Smith's 9-year-old son, Isaiah, who she says was the light of her sister's life. "She would go to the ends of the earth to do for him and that was her biggest fear … not being around for him," Hope Smith tells Fox, noting that Jessica had posted a Facebook status the day before her death worrying she might not always be there for Isaiah. The truck driver, meanwhile, survived his own fall, though there's no official word on his condition, per WYFF. (A Good Samaritan in Arizona died trying to protect a woman from a purse-snatcher.)

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