Family Members of Tornado Victim Speak to Richmond Media

Family members of one of the University of Alabama students killed in the April 27 tornado, Marcus Smith, spoke to both The Richmond Times Dispatch and WTVR-TV.

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Just over a week after an EF-4 tornado claimed the lives of six  University of Alabama students, family members of one of those students are talking about the young man who influenced so many lives in just 21 years.

As we reported earlier this week, Marcus J. Smith, a junior majoring in management information systems here at The University of Alabama, was killed when the twister destroyed his apartment complex, located just a few blocks from the UA campus.

Days before his funeral, which will be held in his hometown of Richmond, VA. on Saturday,  a reporter from The Richmond Times Dispatch interviewed Smith’s parents, Robert and Jacqueline Smith.

Meanwhile, WTVR-TV Reporter Catie Beck visited Smith’s old high school, J.R. Tucker and talked with one of his former teachers.

 In WTVR’s video story, Micah Smith, was still very emotional as he talked with Beck about his younger brother.

A PERSONAL NOTE:  It was gratifying to see my former television station, WTVR,  where I produced newscasts in the mid 1990s,  report  this story, especially since it involved a UA student from my hometown.

Smith’s funeral on Saturday will take place just a 5-minute drive from my home on Richmond’s north side.    Even though I never got to know Marcus,  I’ve learned so much about him this week.  I wish could be there for the funeral.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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