Courtesy of Herald-Republican
PLEASANT LAKE Helping people, riding horses, being outdoors and spending quality time with his family. Thats what Fred Smith liked to do.
And thats what he was doing when he had a tragic accident Sunday while riding his horse at the Taking The Reins Against Cancer fund-raising horse ride at the Anthony Wayne Boy Scout Camp near Pleasant Lake. It was an accident that would cost Fred his life.
He liked to help people, yes, said his widow, Benay. The couple had celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary last month.
Fred and Benay had been involved with the benefit ride sponsored by the LaGrange Horse and Pony Club for the past three years. Pulling from his 10 years of experience as a firefighter and first responder with the Salem Center Fire Department, Fred not only rode his horse in the event, he was on hand in the event of an accident.
He volunteered as a first responder, just in case anyone had an accident, Benay said.
Ironically, it was Fred, 33, who had the accident. It occurred just before 4 p.m.
Fred and his horse, Benay said, were running down the road and his foot and stirrup got caught in another horse and he must have lost his balance and fell.
Fred sustained severe head trauma in the fall. Parkview Hospitals Samaritan Helicopter was called to the scene. Fred was flown to Parkview in Fort Wayne, where he died a short time later.
It was a freak accident. A freak, freak accident, Benay said.
Riding horses, hunting, fishing in the ponds on the family property in rural Hudson and being with his wife and children were big parts of Freds life.
He just loved the outdoors, Benay said.
Fred, a 1989 Prairie Heights High School graduate, was employed at Parkview Noble Hospital, Kendallville, as a housekeeping supervisor and facilities technician. Prior to that, he and Benay owned Smiths Auto Detailing and Heres Your Sign in Angola for about six years.
Fred also leaves behind two daughters, Bryelle, 11, and Brennica, 8.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Johnson Funeral Home, Hudson. A memorial fund has been established at First Federal Savings Bank of Angola. Cancer ride organizers are planning a benefit for the family