Mother wants answers, change after daughter killed in Salem crash


A mother is looking for answers and asking for change after her daughter died in a car crash in Salem in late May.

Dontasia Saunders, 21, died in the crash on Dalewood Avenue on May 20. Her mother Tora Smith returns to the scene where it happened multiple times a week.

“You’re used to being there for your children, and in this situation, I can’t do anything, but do what I’m doing now, being heard. I wanna know. I wanna know what happened to my daughter,” Smith said.

She says she wants to know what caused the crash. Salem police say it’s still under investigation but Smith has been putting in her own work to try and get answers.

“I’ve been out here every day trying to get answers. I’ve been at these people’s houses, knocking on doors for anybody to give me clues.”

Neighbors in the area say speeding cars are an issue.

“It’s scary. People flying by. I mean it’s to the point where it’s literally dangerous. One single misstep by them and they’re going to be crashing like this vehicle did,” said Sandra Szabo who lives on Dalewood.

Szabo has signs in her yard that say, “Drive like your kids live on this street.” She hopes after the crash drivers will finally change.

“We don’t need another life lost on this street. People are already going through hell,” Szabo said.

Meanwhile, Smith hopes sharing her daughter’s story will help save another life.

“This has caused a tragedy, this has cost a life. And I can never get this back. This is something that I cherished and that was my child,” Smith said.

“To the young people that’s out there, you have to slow down. We have to take life more seriously.”

A Salem police spokesperson says they can’t say what caused the crash at this time, but they hope the investigation will reveal more answers.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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