EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A local business owner and community advocate is being mourned after she died in a crash in Evansville.
The crash happened just before nine Tuesday morning on First Avenue near Diamond.
Police say 72-year-old Darla Smith died in that crash.
Smith owned Daily’s Annex Bakery & Cafe on N. Main St.
Kelley Coures says this is a huge loss to the Jacobsville Neighborhood. He says she was a pioneer of the Jacobsville Project. “She was such a kind person,” said Coures. “And was a big supporter of rejuvenating the Jacobsville area.”
The Dream Center posted a tribute to Smith on Facebook:
Police say 54-year-old William Buckman is facing charges in connection with the crash. They say he was under the influence of meth and marijuana when he drove north in the southbound lanes. They say Buckman crashed into a car, pushing it into two other cars.
Police say Buckman was taken to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
The coroner says Smith’s manner of death has been ruled a homicide.
A candlelight vigil is being held outside Daily’s Annex Bakery on N. Main at 6 p.m. Wednesday in remembrance of Smith.
Everyone we have spoken with is just in complete shock.
Darla Smith was a friend to many.
She opened Daily’s Bakery years ago on North Main,bringing not only a sweet soul to this community but sweet treats as well.
Darla served cakes, pastries, and coffee out of her shop.
giving anyone who came by something to eat and a shoulder to lean on. Friends tell us she also gave sweet treats to kids, even if they couldn't afford them.
One neighbor says she ran the operation herself. She was a superhero .
“I’m an 11th hour worker and i could call Darla at the last minute and get a cookie or cakes and she’d always say don’t worry about it Dan ill take care of it. I don’t know what’s gonna happen over there I mean its probably too early to tell” said Dan Dilegge.
Right now there are no known plans for the bakery.
Darla was a community model for using your talents to give back.
Her friends and family remember her many acts of kindness to all she came in contact with. Community leaders, customers at her bakery, and kids who would come by to say hello.
“Walk in there with a little pocket money and make it worth their while and give them something delicious to eat” said Jeremy Evans.
Her acts of kindness didn’t stop there, lots of people recalled her cooking class that captured the hearts of many.
“I was doing a class down here with some of our kids here that I felt was uhh somewhat at risk and you know an opportunity to work with these kids that needed some skills before they graduated” said Darla in a video 14 found on Youtube.
“And that positivity that stable presence that caring presence that’s gone is going to leave a huge hole on our neighborhood” said Evans.
“Darla didn’t have much financially but her gifts were many and she shared them with anybody she came in contact with Darla
I know she’s wearing wings today” said Dilegge.