Hundreds say goodbye at Jackson Heights firefighter's funeral

TYLER (KYTX) - 20-year-old Jackson Heights firefighter Jalen Smith is laid to rest Saturday.

Smith was in a car accident last weekend, responding to another wreck down the road. He died Monday at ETMC.

CBS 19 had the only camera at the funeral, where hundreds came to say goodbye to Jalen.

Words from fellow firefighters echoed in the chapel, "Jalen Smith, Jackson Heights 48, we love you."

Through tears and pain, comes laughter and celebration of a man an entire community knew, as compassionate and proud.

"Look around and see how many lives he's touched."

Hundreds sat together at Jalen Smith's funeral.

Smith's friend and classmate, Sharde Seaton said, "It doesn't surprise me at all how many people showed up because even if you don't know Jalen he gives off this energy like a real positive energy.

Jalen's cousin Marguerite Hampton says her favorite thing was his laugh.

"His laugh is going to be missed."

It's not just his constant positivity his community will remember him for.

"Jackson Heights firefighter of the year, congratulations to Jalen Smith."

Smith's brothers in the fire service showered his family with multiple awards for his bravery and hard work as a fireman.

"He deserved them," Hampton said.

Seaton said, "He works hard in everything he does. He really does."

Service members from all over the state lined the sidewalk, as Jackson Heights firefighters marched with a flag covered coffin, holding a hero.

"I know that my mere words cant describe the man Jalen was. But if you knew him, you had a friend for life," says a close friend at the funeral service.

"We love him and he will be greatly missed," Hampton said through tears.

As fellow firefighters said to the crowd, Jalen smith may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

Smith had been a volunteer firefighter for Jackson Heights for over a year. His grandfather was a founding member of the fire department.



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