Wreck survivor gets a new start - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wreck survivor gets a new start

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A Lee County teenager wasn't expected even to talk again after he suffered serious injuries in a crash two years ago. But now he's helping to run his family's new business.

July second, 2008 Trea Smith was a passenger in a pickup truck that was broadsided on Forrester Parkway.

16-year-old Cole Lentz was killed, and Smith spent nearly a month in intensive care. His family attributes part of Smith's incredible recovery to their new business.

This is truly a story where something great has come out of tragedy. A lot of it has been the hard work Trea Smith has put in it. He hasn't quit, and because of that, he could graduate with his class this spring, something his family never thought was possible.

It's truly amazing what Trea Smith has accomplished in the two years, since he walked through the doors at Phoebe. When we talked with him nearly two months after the terrible crash that killed his friend and left him with a severe brain injury, he struggled for words to describe the help he received.

It's safe to say that's what Trea Smith is, he's gone from a second grade reading level to hopefully graduating with his class this spring.

"They never really gave us a lot of hope when this happened his injury was so severe they didn't even know if he would remember his family let along be able to walk and talk again," said His father Mike Smith.

The family's new business Beyond Bronze Tanning has had a lot to do with his recovery.

"He's got confidence it's probably been one of the best rehabilitations and therapy we could have done," said Smith.

His father Mike was one of the last to be laid off when Cooper Tire closed. Trea's mother brought up the business idea, and Trea pushed to make it happen.

"The more he thought about it, he said you know I think I would really like to do that and help out do you think we could make that work," said the elder Smith.

"It's just fun like, talking with people that I don't talk really talk to ever and getting to clean beds and stuff," said Trea.

"The difference is night and day, he doesn't even hesitate about talking any more, even in the circle of friend he jumps right in," said Mike Smith.

Those friends and the community's help have made all the difference along with his best friend and sister Kaitlyn who's been at his side all the way with advice for his senior year.

"I told him he just need to cherish it because I know I wished mine away and I wish I didn't have and he's come a long way so he does need to enjoy it," said Kaitlyn Smith.

"She talks to me whenever I want to and that kind of stuff," said Trea.

Smith is excited for school but will still put in time at the family business, counting every day as a blessing.


  •  More on Beyond Bronze-

The company is celebrating its Grand Opening. Door prizes included over $400 in tanning packages plus free tanning products.

We have the only 10,000 watt Mega Bed in the area. This bed uses "Alpha Rays" and will give you a 20 minute tan in only 8 minutes.

It is also a recommended therapy for those of you suffering from Psoriasis and other skin disorders as well as providing relief for our clients with arthritic conditions.

Monthly unlimited tanning sessions start at just $29.95


We are located at 2734 Ledo Crossing, Suite 7 and we are open Monday thru Friday from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Phone: 878-2447.

Our new members tell us we have the cleanest and coolest beds in town.

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