Father says Shepherd student was a 'model kid'

November 25, 1996


Staff Writer, Charles Town

INWOOD, W.Va. - Both Amanda Marie Smailes and her sister Pamela had been working at the Wal-Mart store in Martinsburg Sunday. But they took separate cars home.

Pamela Smailes took Interstate 81 to get home, but Amanda decided to take U.S. 11.

Amanda Smailes was only minutes away from her Inwood home when her car was struck by another vehicle that was being chased by police. Smailes was pronounced dead at City Hospital near Martinsburg after her car was shoved off the road and into a utility pole, police said.

Friends and family members of the 21-year-old woman described her as an energetic, studious person.

She dreamed of devoting her life to caring for the elderly after she graduated from Shepherd College's nursing program.

"I don't know if you're going to find more of a model kid," said her father, John Smailes.

When Smailes was a student at Musselman High School, she lettered in track, was a member of the band and flag corps, and was president of the school's Bible club.


She was head usher at the Covenant Baptist Church in Shepherdstown, and at Shepherd, she was member of the Judicial Review Board, a group of students who consider infractions of school rules among students.

Shepherd College was fast becoming a family tradition in the Smailes household. Besides Amanda and Pamela attending the college, their mother Cynthia was also studying elementary education at the school, according to John Smailes.

Smailes was in her third year at Shepherd, and had become interested in geriatrics after working part-time in the summers at the Williamsport Nursing Home in Williamsport, said her mother.

This year, Amanda had been working at Frederick Memorial Hospital as part of her Shepherd classes, said Kathy Dilley, one of her teachers.

"I'm just horrified, I guess. Such a young, beautiful woman. It's just so sad," said Dilley.

Smailes, who lived at home with her sister, had been working at Wal-Mart for several years to make extra money for car payments and other expenses, her father said.

"Any time she had a vacation, she picked up as many hours as she could," John Smailes said.

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