Since becoming a member of Angels in Flight I have been asked several times what happened to my son. Below is an email that I recently sent to the producer of Celtic Women that describes the night my life ended.
I don't know how to begin this letter to you as I can barely see the computer screen from the tears. Please read my story and you will understand why you are such a blessing to me.

On Dec. 5, my son & I had spent the day together (as most saturdays we did). We were on the way to my office to help decorate it for Christmas. Around 7:30 pm we finished and his friends had invited him to a movie. My boss/friend also had invited me to her house for a movie. I took my son to his friends home to meet another two of his friends there and they would go to the movie theatre just 2 miles away. I went to my friends house for the movie. I left about 11:30 and called my son. When he answered he said "No, Momma. Please don't pick me up yet. The movie isn't over yet. Since I'm 16 now and I've been doing better with my chores can my curfew be later?" I replied in saying yes, and agreed to let his friend bring him home by 1:00 am.

When I got home I was exhausted and crawled into bed but unable to go to sleep. It was 12:19 am and my son called to say " Momma, we have to stop and take some clothes back to a friend of XXXXX(the driver) and a redbox movie back and I will be home. I love you too!" I began watching television. I didn't know what it was called but the voices, the set, the music and everything that I saw was absolutely the most heart-touching beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. Just after the ending of "Amazing Grace" my phone rang. It was 12:42 am. It was a police officer calling from my son's cell phone saying there was a bad accident and my son was being transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center. Did I have anyone there to take me? I replied to him hysterically that I did not. After about three times of telling him that I was home by myself and I didn't have any family other than my son, I had no one to call he told me that he would send an officer to pick me up. My hysteria then stepped up to a level that is incomprehensible to my own self. When I got into the police car he turned on his lights & sirens and drove @ 100 mph, only slowing down at red lights and stop signs. I knew in my heart that something was terribly, terribly wrong. When I got to the hospital my friend from work was already there and as I ran in the doors screaming for my son the hospital staff took me to the private waiting room (the one where they come to tell you someone has died!) and the ER doctor came in. He was trying to tell me in the best way he could that my son had been revived at the accident scene and they were trying to prepare him for a life-flight to the Primary Childrens' care hospital in Salt Lake City. He was describing the injuries to his head and said that I should not go to SLC because he did not expect my son to live. I wanted to be with my son and when I went to the ER room I fainted because my precious boy, my only reason to live on this wicked earth, was lying there dying and there was nothing that I could do!!!!
They were able to transport him at 1:45 am and we were desperately trying to pack my things and get on a plane to SLC as quickly as possibly. The seconds that passed while away from my son were like eternities within eternity. We finally arrived at SLC hospital, and through 48 hours of watching the doctors try to do anything and everything possibe to give us some kind of hope I knew in my heart that that injuries were life-ending. Even the wonderful doctor who told me that the only hope he had was a miracle from God cried with me as she tried to utter these words. At 4:00am on Dec. 8, 2009 I heard my son's voice in my spirit saying, "Momma - it's time. Momma - it's time." I raised my head from listening to his heart and looked at the doctor and said I am scared and don't know what to do, and told her what I had just experienced. I asked her to Please help-and she made everyone go out of the room. She explained to me what they would do and what to expect. I knew that I had to allow my son to no longer suffer and wanted him to be free of pain. There was no chance on this earth that he would live and I knew that, He was asking me to let him go. At 5:47 am I heard his heart beat for the very last time. My soul died with him. My son is laid to rest next to my Mother in Fort Worth, Texas. I had to come back home to Utah, but while driving back I had to stop at a store and wanted to find some music discs to listen to. I saw the Celtic Woman disk and was curious so I picked it up. When I saw the picture on the back it brought tears to my eyes because it is of the women singing Amazing Grace - the same song that I had just heard before I received the police phone call. I purchased the CD and it has been a channel of strength for me to draw from. I am a vocalist and my son always wanted me to sing for him and with him. To honor my son I sang at his memorial, his funeral and sang Amazing Grace for him at his graveside to release him to God in heaven. I sing with your version of this song non-stop. I must say to each of you THANK YOU for allowing God to use you in such a special way. Even though you do not know me, nor did you have the pleasure of knowing my son, you hold a very special place if my life. Your music has become my strength and peace through this most difficult change of life. My God bless every one of you.
My son was Dakota Lynn Smith, born Nov. 30, 1993, passed from life Dec. 08, 2009.
With much love,
Laura Franzen

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