Friday, January 30, 2009

Two Young Brothers [Nolan and Frank Smith] Killed by Drunk Driver Ryan Cuevas and Friend Who Fled The Scene.


The family of small children killed when the car they were riding in was struck by a pickup truck near Gilbert Friday is speaking out.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the 6-year-old, Nolan Smith and his 11-year-old brother Frank, affectionately called CJ, died at the scene at Elliot and Sossaman roads at about 10 p.m.

The boys' parents, Traci and Frank were also injured and air-lifted to Valley hospitals. Their mother was said to have life-threatening injuries.

A family friend who was in the vehicle, Mary Guitterez, was also flown to a local hospital.

Officials said two people, 18-year-old Travis Ryan Cuevas and a 17-year-old male, fled from the suspect truck but were found a short time later.

Reportedly, both men were interviewed and pointed to the other as the driver.

Officials said the driver of the suspect vehicle failed to stop at a four-way stop.

Impairment was reportedly believed to be a factor in the accident.

On Monday, the family of the boys spoke out about their loved ones and those responsible for the accident.

Aunt Kristi Kear told ABC15, "Nolan had the bluest eyes and the biggest smiles and CJ was all about sports and baseball."

But through their tears also came anger towards the two teenagers arrested in the incident.

Kear went on the say, "I don't think anger is a word. I hate to use the word hate, but I can say that I hate those individuals and the reason why it happened."


A 19-year-old Mesa man was sentenced Friday to 24 years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed 11- and 6-year-old brothers on Jan. 9.

About 60 relatives and friends attended the sentencing in Maricopa County Superior Court for Travis Cuevas. He spent most of the proceeding with his chin buried into his chest as they spoke about their loss, the lives of Frank "C.J." Smith V and Nolan Smith, and their disgust for Cuevas.

Some wore dark red T-shirts emblazoned with a baseball sporting wings and a halo surrounded by "Our Angels in the Outfield," a reference to the boys' love of baseball.

Cuevas pled guilty July 27 to two counts of manslaughter and one count of leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

Judge Emmet Ronan had a sentencing range of 18 to 24 years under the plea agreement.

According to court documents, Cuevas and a friend drank vodka and beer before leaving on what was supposed to be a quick trip. Cuevas borrowed a 1985 Nissan truck from a friend.

At about 10 p.m. the truck sped westbound on Elliot Road, ran a stop sign at Sossaman Road and barrelled into a 2000 Saturn that was making a left onto Elliot from Sossaman.

Cuevas ran from the crash, but investigators were able to put him behind the wheel by shoe impressions left on the brake and accelerator pedals and a partial palm print on the stick shift, according to court documents.

The crash also injured the boys' parents, Frank Smith IV and Traci Smith, and family friend Mary Gutierrez. The boys' great grandfather, Frank Smith Jr., said he was helping to clean off the blood from the boys' father in the emergency room when he asked if he was cut anywhere else because there was so much blood.

The answer he got disturbs him to this day, the great-grandfather said.

"He said, "that's not my blood, Grandpa, that's my boys'," Frank Smith Jr. said.

Cuevas tried to get out of the plea deal in recent days by writing a letter to Ronan to say he was sleep deprived when he agreed to it and his attorney misguided him.

Cuevas asked for mercy from the judge in a letter.

"I would like you to know that what occurred that night deeply pains my heart every day and I'm sure it will for the rest of my life," Cuevas wrote.


  1. Is there going to be any help for the family friend Ms. Gutierrez?

  2. i am extremely sorry for what happened
    but because everyone thinks cuevas was
    drunk or high or whatever ... so everyone knows
    it was the 17 yr old who was drunk and high
    cuevas blood came back clean ... im sorry for
    what happened i just want people to know
    cuevas was not another drunken teen
    driving he was going too fast and was unable to stop
    in time ... if you wanna bitch at someone for drinking and
    smoking bitch at tyler weindorf

  3. If thats the case then why is Travis Cuevas being sentenced on friday? He was a drunk kid who made a major mistake and the lifes of two young promissing boys will never be fullfilled.

  4. Travis Cuevas was sentenced Friday because he was the driver... not because he was under the influence...all the reports show his blood test came back clean!! Tyler Weindorf was the one who was drunk n high!! I must say there is no excuse for what happened that night n its a horrible ordeal my prayers go out to everyone who this has effected.

  5. The reason his test came back clean is because he left the scene and blood wasn't taken until the next day. Many people witnessed him doing shots the night of the accident. that is why he is going to jail.

  6. ***Please note, I am not the same anonymous that is defending this guy.

  7. well me and my friends went to school wit this nigga we were friends for the longest time since grade school kindergarden i fought with him kicked his ass but that nigga did stupid shit all the time he got into bad then worse im sorry homie were friends but you should of listened when we told you man my sympathies later

  8. the comments are absolutely ridiculous

  9. i went to school wit this kid from like 6th grade to 10th grade. shit, even went to prom wit this fool. just heard about dis shit thiz is fucked up. he's just a fuckin kid, he didnt mean to do it. free this nigga

    -cameron send me a message and ill add youu

  10. I'm so sorry for your loos and accident or not, he was drunk and should be punished. Poor kids. God bless!

  11. Just because Travis is a kid is no excuse. He killed two loving children and injured 3 others. Our lives will forever be effected by this ass hole. He deserves to rot.

  12. he was grown up enough to RUN like a coward... teenagers these days DON'T GET IT. good riddance to another delinquent... dido mary, rot away punk.
    friend of the family

  13. He was drunk that day. I know for a fact.

  14. wow this is sad but im happy this punk is going to be put away! if he wasnt guilty why did he run? i know i wouldnt run b/c if it was really an "accident" theres nothing to be afraid of! he is a coward and believe me some 1 will have their way with him in prison! if i were his parents i would be very ashamed and embarassed!

  15. he's just a fuckin kid, he didnt mean to do it. free this nigga

    HOW FUCKING IGNORANT. He made the choice to get in the car while he was drunk. How could u say that when two innocent children 11 and 6 years old (JUST CHILDREN) were killed. You got some growing up to do....

  16. He was going to fast and couldent stop, haha lets be real. People need to realize what Travis did is wrong. Stop trying to justify this. At the end of the day he killed two children, while he was drunk and ran from the scene like a fucking coward. I knew both tyler and travis in high school and there fucking idiots im really not surprised this happned.

  17. sorry for your loss

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  21. Here's an app that lets you vent your road rage and rate bad driver online.

  22. Cj was a friend of mine and was so kind. His passion for baseball was amazing, he was driven to think he was going to be put into the hall of fame of the MLB. They both had their lives all planned out. I miss him and his brother nolan everyday and hope we continue healing. These boys were their parents world! What the teens did was wrong. It was a bad decision on their part to even think of getting into the car let alone driving it. Just another sad story of drinking and driving, except this time I knew the boys and will never forget them. My mom reminds me if im ever drunk when im older to always call someone to drive me home and to think of my friends before I make a bad choice that could hurt innocent people that dont derserve to have someone take their life over a bad decision. I keep them in mind and try to take something positive away from this. Theyre our angels in the outfield... Miss you guys so much!
    Family friend

  23. I remember going to CJ's school
    he seemed like a nice kid. Im gonna miss him :(

  24. Cj was my cousin and was near to my heart and I love nolan they were bolth great people that did not deserve there lifes to be cut short

  25. This is terrible. It's been 3 years. I miss them so much. I think about them all the time. It's silly. I went to CJs school, he was in my 5th grade class. It's so messed up how lovely boys get punished. This is crap. It's so unfair. I wish I could have stopped this from happening. <3

    I love you boys.

  26. I knew C.J. he was a great kid. It's hard to believe it's been three years. We miss those two. Rest in Peace. <3

  27. Ive known CJ sence i was 4, then i got close to another great kid, once nolan was adopted.. its hard to say that i cant go to DRJH or highschool because of those ignorant teenagers. You guys make me sick. RIP <3 i love you guys, you guys were my brothers.. I'll see you soon guys, wait for me please <3 1/12/09 <3

  28. Why did Tyler Weindorf not receive any punishment? Did he not also flee the scene?

    1. I wonder the same thing. If he was intoxicated as well, why didn't he get any punishment? I would be SO EMBARRASSED if I were him, to have the balls to walk around thinking that he did what he did and got away scot free...what a bastard

  29. miss those boys so much they both were great boys and the driver needs to start thinking
    <3 1/12/09 <3
    family friends

  30. I knew Travis personally....I went to school w/ him from 2nd grade on to 8th....he was always the type of guy to think that "being bad" was "being cool" and that obviously wasn't the case. It just goes to show that being an idiot & thinking that you can "do whatever you want" (such as drinking & driving) isn't "the cool thing." I am happy that he is serving time, he deserves it. He always has. When he was 17, the police had called my mother personally & said that him & another friend had stole their parents guns & truck and were on their way to our house to shoot my parents. What a fuck head. He deserves to rot, and frankly, I don't think that 24 years is enough. Hope he is someone's little bitch....he needs to be treated the way that he acts...!! GOD BLESS YOU FAMILY; FOR THE LOSS. YOU GUYS ARE IN MY HEARTS...AND I KNOW HOW IT IS TO LOSE PEOPLE VERY CLOSE TO YOU.

    1. You (Jerica) make me sick not only for your ignorant words but for your lack of truth. Ill pray for you! As for the Smith family my heart breaks an aches for you everyday your always in my prayers!

  31. Sad smh why does her comment make you sick tyler was an idiot to be in a car drinking and driving and he is going to meet bubba!