. - From the hundreds of family members and troopers that poured into Saint Paul's Baptist Church, it was clear that Trooper Smith,
a husband and young father of two children was cared for by many people in this community and beyond.
The image of fallen Virginia State Trooper Nathan-Michael Smith's casket being carried out of his funeral service Saturday is one family and
friends will not soon forget. Friends of Trooper Smith like Trooper Gregory Henshaw are still reeling over the loss of his basic training classmate.
"Was a great guy, was a really awesome guy. Always happy never upset laughed all the time, joked and just really loved his family," Trooper
Gregory Henshaw said.
Trooper Henshaw went through basic training with Trooper Nathan-Michael Smith a little year ago. President of their basic training class, Trooper
Henshaw says he and the rest of their group never thought a year later they would have to say goodbye to one of their own.
"They talk about it all the time in the academy to do their best to prepare you for it but you can only be but so prepared," Trooper Henshaw
State Police say while responding to a fatal crash, Trooper Smith lost control of his vehicle on the I-295 ramp to Interstate 95 and drove
off into the wooded area. He was flown to VCU Medical center where he later died.
"It never was me or I, it was always what could I do to help somebody else and that is what we really remember about him," Troooper Henshaw
Thousands packed Saint Paul's Baptist Church for Smith's funeral. More than a dozen troopers from across the county attended the service.
Major Matthew Packard was one of several troopers from Colorado.
"Its important that Virginia and the rest of the troopers around the country know that we stand behind them and with them as they deal with
this difficult time," Major Matthew Packard said.
Though this young father and husband may be gone his family and friends try to find comfort in happy times. Reflecting on the many good memories
they all shared.
"His laugh is what really everybody will remember he just had this ridiculously contagious laugh when he laughed everybody else had to laugh
and we would get in trouble all the time," Trooper Henshaw said.
A relief fund has been set up to help Trooper Smith's family. Contributions for the family of Nathan-Michael W. Smith can be made to the Virginia
State Police Association Emergency Relief Fund.
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