HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- "He was loving, caring and very supportive. Everybody loved him, his nieces loved him the most," said Eric Tyler Smith's sister, Gabby.
She was reflecting on her brother's life Sunday night after his passing on Saturday.
Saturday was Smith's 19th birthday.
"It was supposed to be a good trip on the way back and it just didn't turn out that way," said Gabby.
Oregon State Police said on Thursday, Smith and his friend Timmy Truang were driving on Interstate 84 near Hood River when the car they were in rear-ended a semi-truck and veered off the road.
"They hit a parked semi. The car was totaled. I've seen the picture and it's bad," said Gabby.
She said Smith's family and friends threw him a birthday party with a cake to try to focus on his life and celebrate it. Smith, who went by the nickname "Jin Dang," will be missed by so many, she said.
"Saturday was his birthday. We did a birthday party to celebrate that his spirit is free and not in any pain. He's around us still," she said.
The driver, Truang, 18, died at the scene.
Smith's family planned a public awakening ceremony at Omega Funeral and Cremation Services from 3 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Omega is located at 223 SE 122nd Avenue in Portland.