A ‘Survivor’ Finalist Lost a Son in 2016

Funeral flowers

Getty Funeral flowers

In doing some research about past Survivor winners and runners-up and where they are now, we discovered that Susie Smith, who finished runner-up in Survivor: Gabon, the 17th season of the show, tragically lost her son a few years ago. Here’s what you need to know about what happened.

Trent Alan Smith Was Killed In a Car Accident in 2016

The Smith family

Charles City Globe GazetteThe Smith family

According to the Charles City Globe Gazette in Charles City, Iowa, which is Susie Smith’s hometown, her son Trent Alan Smith died August 9, 2016, at the age of 23. He was driving on a local highway just before noon when he collided with the back of a semitrailer that was stopped on the road. Smith’s injuries were life-threatening and he was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital where he later died. The photo of the crash is heartbreaking.

In a feature about Trent Smith, his boss, Brad Duckert, who recently hired Smith to work at a tattoo parlor, remembered him as “one of a kind” and an “unbelievable worker,” and his mother told the Globe Gazette how they got tattoos together when he was 17.

She said at the time if he was going to get one, so was she. His parents also said they were proud of him for being an organ donor.

“I am so proud of him,” Susie said. “He loved life and cares so much about helping people.”

Trent Smith Left Behind a Fiancee and Young Son

Trent Alan Smith and his son, Kai

Charles City Globe GazetteTrent Alan Smith and his son, Kai

Smith was engaged to Liz Sweet, with whom he had an almost 2-year-old son named Kai. Duckert told the newspaper, “His fiancee and son meant everything to him.”

Sweet and Smith were to be married a year from when he was killed, in September 2017. She told the newspaper, “From the moment I was pregnant he loved our son more than anything. Everything he did in life was for me, but especially Kai. He did everything he could to make sure Kai had the best life. … He took Kai everywhere and shared every experience together that he could. He had so much more planned to teach him.”

His obituary in the Charles City Press said that he excelled in track and cross country, becoming the first All-American in cross country from North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). In high school, he was a percussionist in the school band, earning a SOUSA award in jazz, which is rarely awarded to a percussion player.

His obituary also said:

After college he pursued his love of art beginning his tattoo artist apprenticeship at Arch Angel Tattoos in Waterloo, transferred briefly to Third Eye Tattoo in Cedar Falls, and most recently at River City Tattoo in Mason City. Trent was a lover of art, including music, and especially listening to Trevor Hall with his fiancé Liz. Trent was a member of Ducks Unlimited and loved hunting and fishing and was known as an excellent shot. He learned to cook with his mom and continued his love of cooking for the rest of his life. He was a talented mixologist and coffee enthusiast. Trent spent a great deal of time building, customizing, and riding motorcycles, a passion he shared with his father. He was a family man who loved spending time with Liz and their son Kai and the rest of his expansive family. He and Liz were greatly anticipating their wedding which was set for September 8, 2017, at Diamond Oak Events in Clear Lake. You never left Trent’s presence without a hug or a kiss. His passion showed through everything he did and everyone he touched.

Smith and her husband used to be on social media, but it appears that since this tragedy befell their family that they removed their accounts.

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