As the family and friends of Trayvon Miller prepare to celebrate his life Tuesday, it’s his infectious smile and kind heart they say they will most remember.
Miller, 20, died in a fiery crash near Wewoka Monday night.
“I’m happy to have the opportunity to speak about the great little joyful guy that he was in our life,” Myrtle Miller, Trayvon’s older sister, said Friday by phone. “(He) was a joyful, smiling little boy. His smile, his just ear-to-ear smile — everyone that has come to me has said, ‘I see him smiling!’”
Myrtle said her brother always had a strong-willed sense of rebellion about himself.
“If he wanted to do something, he was going to do it,” Myrtle said. “Very adventurous, very trusting — he trusted people.”
She described her brother as an individual with a magnetic personality and an infectious smile — someone who naturally drew people to themselves and had no trouble connecting with people, especially younger people and members of his church family.
“He played drums at the church. He picked that up really quick,” Myrtle said. “He was an A student from early on. During his teen years his A average kind of changed around the way, but he was a mentor to my kids. I had kids coming up around his same age, and he was a motivator for my kids.
“If both of my kids were at their grandparent’s house and we wanted to get them to do something in the summertime, (like) read a book, we’d give it to Trayvon, and he would work with them with their schoolwork. It was just awesome to see him be a little mentor, not even on purpose.”
Myrtle said she attributes her son’s straight-A performance in school to Trayvon’s influence on him as a child.
“It was so cute to see him be a leader at a young age, picking up talents and skills … he just had so (many) gifts in him that that’s what we have now are memories of that,” Myrtle said. “We’ve really lost some God-given gifts that he had and just his influence and (his) coming up in church, a witness to the world.”
A service celebrating Trayvon Miller’s life is scheduled to be held Tuesday in Ada.
Crash remains under investigation
Miller died at the scene of a fiery crash near Wewoka in Seminole County Monday night that also injured two Woodward women.
Natasha Long, 27, and Kristen Crawford, 33, both of Woodward, sustained injuries. According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, Long was treated and released at a hospital in Holdenville, while Crawford was flown to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City in stable condition with massive injuries.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Troopers believe the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, went off the road to the right and struck a bridge embankment, ejecting Crawford and Miller an unknown distance, according to the report.
The vehicle sheared in half and caught on fire.
Long was driving the vehicle, and Crawford and Miller were passengers, according to the report. Long was wearing a seatbelt, but the passengers were not.
The accident happened a little after 8 p.m. Monday on a county road just outside of Wewoka.
District 22 District Attorney Paul Smith said Friday by phone that the driver of the vehicle, Natasha Long, currently faces two felony charges stemming from the crash.
Smith said felony charges of manslaughter and driving under suspension causing great bodily injury have been filed against Long, but he added the crash is still being investigated by state troopers, and more charges may be filed.
Long was arrested after the crash and initially held in lieu of a $10,000 bond. Smith said the state requested her bond be raised to $100,000, but the request was denied. Long was released from custody after posting bond and is next scheduled to appear in District Court July 3.
CNHI News Service reporter Sarah Nishimuta contributed to this report.
Contact Carl Lewis at 580-310-7520, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.