Dyasha Smith

Photo of an African-American young woman wearing a black shirt, colorful skirt and matching headband. She is wearing a backpack and holding a spoon. Her mouth is open.Name: Dyasha Smith
Died: October 28, 2014
Age at death: 21
Cause of death: Choking
Location: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Dyasha’s mother took her in as a foster child when she was three years old, and later adopted her. Now, at age 21, Dyasha was going to school and her 70-year-old mother was at home when she received the fateful phone call that informed her that her daughter had choked and paramedics were trying to resuscitate her.

Dyasha needed one-on-one supervision while eating; an aide was supposed to be with her, next to her, at all times, and her food was supposed to be cut into small pieces for her so that she would not choke. “Why wasn’t someone there to assist her?” Dyasha’s mother wonders. “Why was she in this situation? It seemed like she died by herself.”

No one has been charged with a crime, but Dyasha’s family is suing the school district.

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