At a vigil in Hartford on Saturday, the community mourned the death of a young teenager who the family says was killed in a fiery car crash.
Jamaire Smith was remembered for his big smile, being a caring brother, and a special student.
“These children are our babies and we love them,” said Dawn Renfrew, Smith’s physical education teacher.
Smith was set to start 8th grade at the Milner School on Tuesday.
Teachers from Milner joined the crowd gathered for a vigil for the 13-year-old.
“He just had that leadership quality about him. Ton of potential, when he wanted to work really hard he could do anything,” said Samantha O’Brien, Smith’s 5th and 6th grade teacher.
His family says he passed away after a fiery car crash on Thursday.
“I’m going to really, really miss my son. Really, really, really miss him,” Nakisha Green said.
Smith had been driving a car police say was stolen from Middletown.
He lost control, with a 15-year-old boy in the car, and crashed on Windsor Street in Hartford.
Smith was killed, burned beyond recognition.
“No one would want their child to go especially the way he left,” said Renea Syms, an aunt of Smith's.
The family calls Smith a good kid who hung out with the wrong group and made a mistake. The night of the crash he had been staying at a friend’s house.
His family is pleading for support and for others to hold back judgment.
“Take care of your kids and love them the way she did because anything can happen,” Syms said.
The second boy who was also in the car involved in the crash is still recovering in the hospital.