Arthur John Howatt, Lori Nadine Howatt Injured in Traffic Collision near Silver Bridge Road

REDDING, CA (January 12, 2023) – Wednesday afternoon, a car crash on Highway 44 killed Virgil Dempsey Smith and left two others injured.

The incident occurred just after 2:00 p.m. on Highway 44 near Silver Bridge Road.

According to reports, a northbound 2000 Toyota Solara on Silver Bridge pulled in front of an eastbound 2011 Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep then collided with the left side of the Toyota, fatally injuring Smith who was in the Solara.

Emergency crews arrived shortly after and pronounced 81-year-old Virgil Dempsey Smith dead at the scene. Meanwhile, the two Jeep occupants, 71-year-old Arthur John Howatt and 66-year-old Lori Nadine Howatt, sustained moderate injuries. Paramedics transported both patients to Mercy Medical Center in Redding for treatment.


The team at Sweet James sends their sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Virgil Dempsey Smith. Their thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.


Losing a loved one in a two-vehicle crash can have devastating effects on the emotional and financial well-being of those left behind. Let the wrongful death attorneys at Sweet James help you during this trying time. With 20 years of experience in the field, they know what it takes to help you win your case. Everyone at Sweet James strongly believes each client’s case is unique and deserves full individual attention. They will fight to achieve the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve. Call their office today at (800) 975-3435 for a free and confidential case evaluation. They are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through email, text, and online chat.

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