'It's too unreal': Family mourns Lexington father found dead at Maryland crash site
Members of Avery Smothers' family expressed grief and disbelief Wednesday at the news that the Lexington father's body had been found in western Maryland, the victim of a crash.
"It's too unreal," said his brother, Tyler Smothers.
"It's just devastating, you know?" said Taryn Jennings, Smothers' sister-in-law. "We were getting tips after tips. We were just hoping and praying that ... (he was still alive)."
Smothers, 31, had left Lexington Feb. 26 and was driving to visit family in Maryland.
He was found dead Wednesday morning after his vehicle was found down an embankment on Interstate 68 in Cumberland, Maryland.
Shannon Dansby, Smothers' mother, said they had trouble at first getting authorities to help with her son's disappearance. She told WKYT the family did a lot of searching on their own.
"We got the phone tracked. We got the car tracked. We called all the hospitals. We called all the tow companies, the morgues. We called every place from West Virginia to Maryland," Dansby said.
Dansby said Smothers made the trip to Maryland a couple of times a month, and it wasn't unusual for him to be driving alone.
"I used to tell him all the time 'Avery, please quit riding alone,'" Dansby said. "He's like 'Mom, I'm a man' you know, 'I'm not a baby anymore.'"
Family members said they will remember the positive influence Smothers had on the world and the love he had for his three children.
"He did everything in his power to make sure to make sure that I was the happiest kid on Earth," said Smothers' 9-year-old son DeSean Smothers. "He'll just always be watching over me."
"And I hope he's looking at us. I hope he's watching to let him know that we love him," Dansby said.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Funeral arrangements are pending.