Victims of fatal Clovis crash remembered

FRESNO, Calif.

34-year-old Keith Smith and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Jessica Matthes, died early Sunday morning.

Clovis Police also say 29-year-old Larry Garcia was driving drunk when he ran a red light at Barstow and Minnewawa.

Friends say Keith and Jessica had just left their jobs at City Lights and stopped to grab a bite to eat on their way home.

They were about a minute away from their apartment when police say a drunk driver ran a red light and ended their lives.

The mood at City Lights on Monday was somber and quiet, since the most noticeable person behind the bar is gone.

His longtime friends say Keith Smith was well known to everyone who came into the popular nightclub.

"The guy just had so many people that would just come in here to see him, it wasn't really for what's going on around here, it was for him. To come in and talk to Bubba. To see Bubba, you know," long-time friend Andy Tobiasen said.

A small memorial is growing on the corner of a Clovis intersection where the couple was killed Sunday just after 2 a.m.

Friends say Keith and Jessica were deeply in love and complimented each other well.

"She introduced the finer things in life to Keith, he got into drinking wine and eating cheese. We used to tease him about it, we used to tease him so much, we'd go home at 2 o'clock from being out drinking and she would be making crepes and we were like 'are you kidding me?'," Mark Celaya said.

His buddies say karaoke was one of Keith's favorite hobbies and he had several favorite country songs he loved to sing. Andy Tobiasen and Mark Celaya say through the years, they made great memories with him.

"We did everything. We traded clothes like girls. We barbecued together. We would go over to Keith's house. He had a spare key and I'd go in and start dinner and by the time he was done working 7:30-8 o'clock, he'd come home, steaks would be on the grill," Celaya said.

Keith worked full time as a bartender and bouncer at the club, and Jessica worked part-time on weekends. She lived in Sacramento and had another full time job during the week.

Friends say the tragedy has been painful reminder about just how serious having a few drinks can be, if it's followed by getting behind the wheel.

"It's a lesson for all of us. Life's short and it can happen to anybody. So if you are out drinking and having a good time, I mean, we're always out drinking. Get a sober driver or call a cab," Celaya said.

Keith Smith is survived by three children. Family members are having a candlelight vigil tonight at 7 at the intersection where the accident happened.

Employees at City Lights are also looking for a way to honor and remember their friends.

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Funeral Services for Keith Smith:

Viewing: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1- Boice Funeral Home, Clovis

Funeral: 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2- Boice Funeral Home, Clovis

Donations can be dropped off at The Bar, City Lights, and Kimmie's Tavern in Clovis.

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