St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Injured as a boy, seven years later Victor Smiley dies as a man


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Victor L. Smiley, essentially asleep for more than seven years after a bicycle accident, has died at 21.

Mr. Smiley, who spent much of his life in a customized wheelchair, dependent on others for life's necessities, died Saturday (Feb. 3, 2001) at Bayfront Medical Center.

A resident of South Heritage Health & Rehabilitation Center for the past four months after living at Sabal Palms Health Care Center in Largo, he was hospitalized Saturday with pneumonia and an infection, his mother said.

Although not comatose, the St. Petersburg native could do nothing by himself. He breathed through a hole in his neck, ate only liquids through a tube in his stomach.

It had been like that since June 24, 1993. Then 13, the 16th Street Middle School student was riding his gray BMX bike along the sidewalk in the 2000 block of Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street S when he glided off the curb and into a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus.

Thrown to the pavement and seriously injured, he was taken to Bayfront Medical Center and later transferred to All Children's Hospital.

Times photographer Jamie Francis told Mr. Smiley's story in words and pictures in September as part of his Florida Found series.

Survivors include his mother, Victoria Lee Cuthbertson, his father, Willie E. Sr., three brothers, Willie Jr., Cauiau and Marco J., all of St. Petersburg; a sister, Latawsha Smiley, Ocala; his maternal grandfather, Andrew Robinson, and his paternal grandparents, Johnny Lee and Rose B. Bable, all of St. Petersburg.

Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Smith Funeral Home, 1534 18th Ave. S. A funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Jude United Holiness Church, 2012 Auburn St. S, which he attended. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.

- Information from Times files was used in this obituary.

Back to St. Petersburg area news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler

From the Times
South Pinellas desks
  • Fire does $15,000 damage to house
  • Three beach communities set for elections
  • Circus is comical, fun and exciting
  • Injured as a boy, seven years later Victor Smiley dies as a man
  • Field trips canceled after mix-up
  • Reclaimed water limits sought
  • St. Petersburg art museum to lose director
  • Grease in sand proves fatal to dog
  • Transportation office offers safety course for bicyclists
  • Workshops will present funding opportunities
  • Targeted by inquiry, captain put on leave
  • Government calendar
  • Downtown churches have seen better days
  • Neighbors to hear of desire to raze church
  • Catholic Charities hires architectural firm for renovation
  • Piano shop near BayWalk for lease
  • St. Petersburg Christian plans kindergarten night
  • Trip to ship raises the question of honor
  • Spectacular Charity Ball is steeped in the South
  • New homes may sprout in 'urban village' area
  • Growing, picking fruit gives him pluck at 100
  • Funny Bones clown club: Tickles away the hurt
  • Workshops will present funding opportunities
  • Workshops will present funding opportunities
  • Islettes to have annual flea market on Saturday
  • Sweetheart dance for kids is Friday
  • Chamber joins program for online recruiting
  • Focus on volunteers
  • 15 roundabout meetings later, consensus is zero
  • Field day accentuates teamwork, friendship
  • Doubles league teams preparing for playoffs
  • St. Anthony's event wants more locals
  • Sunshine, Thomas come out of overcast day for Figure 8
  • Transportation office offers safety course for bicyclists