Family, friends remember AZ victim of fiery crashPosted: Updated:
Saturday they put aside their sadness and picked up a sponge to remember a friend killed during a fiery crash on I-17 Monday afternoon.
"I know he would have done it for me. That was a close friend, you know," said Leroy Smith.
Those closest to 27-year-old Steven Daniels said they feel a responsibility to now help his family pay for a funeral, raising as much as they can with a car wash they held at the corner of 43rd Avenue and Olive in Glendale.
"We got to do what we got to do to support his family and carry out his memory," said Randall Bush, a friend of Daniels.
Those who didn't even know Steven felt compelled to support Saturday's car wash.
"I just came down, dropped off some money, and I'm going to leave," Gina Dean said.
Investigators said a flatbed truck hauling gas canisters had just lost its load Monday afternoon when Daniels, on a motorcycle, swerved to avoid them. Instead, he slammed into an SUV.
Gina Dean was riding in the southbound lanes of I-17 and passed by the crash scene just as it was unfolding.
"I saw him [Daniels] fly off of his bike. He tried to stop, and he couldn't," Dean remembered. "It's been on my mind every day, and I just pray for his family and his friends."
Smith lost a best friend when Steven Daniels died.
"His birthday is two days before mine, and we made it a pact to make sure we spend every birthday together," Smith explained.
But that will never happen again. Smith, however, is remembering the good times.
"He would make everybody smile. He would give you the shirt off of his back. He loved his drifting, he loved his bikes," Smith said about his friend.
But above all, they say, he loved life, and lived it to the fullest.
"It's just unfortunate that he's not here and that these people are doing this. But it just goes to show you the kind of person he probably was, a good guy," Dean added.
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