Smith's wife killed, children injured in car accident

June 22, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) -- PGA TOUR golfer Chris Smith said Tuesday that he and his family are in shock after a weekend auto accident that killed his wife and critically injured his two children.

smith75.jpg

"Words cannot begin to express how difficult of a time this is for our family and we appreciate the generous outpouring of support that we have received," Smith said in a statement released through the PGA TOUR. "We would appreciate it if you would continue to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers, and kindly ask that you please respect our privacy during this extremely difficult time."

"All of us at the PGA TOUR are saddened by the news of the tragic accident, which claimed the life of Beth Smith and left her two children in critical condition," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and his family during this very difficult time."

Beth Smith, 42, of Peru, Ind., was killed when the sport utility vehicle she was a passenger in struck a Greyhound bus carrying members of a Canadian football team, the London Silverbacks, about 11:35 a.m. Sunday. More than 20 people were hurt in the fiery crash near this northern Indiana community.

Steuben County Coroner Rodney Snyder said he identified Smith using her dental records.

Smith's children, 16-year-old Abigail and 12-year-old Cameron, were listed in critical condition Monday at a Fort Wayne hospital. Steuben County Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Nott said Tuesday no further information was being released about the children because of privacy laws.

Nott said an investigation into Sunday's crash is continuing. Authorities say Abigail Smith was driving the SUV when it veered across the median on Interstate 69.

The 40-year-old Chris Smith made the PGA TOUR in 1995 and won the 2002 Buick Classic. He has been a part-time player in recent years and has been playing both the PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour this season, with his best finish a tie for fourth at the South Georgia Classic on the latter Tour.