Dayton family mourning soldier killed in DWI crash in Georgia

Levi Garner, 25, of Dayton, Texas, was killed Monday, May 18, in a crash near Ft. Stewart, Ga.

Levi Garner, a 25-year-old soldier from Dayton, Texas, was killed May 18 by an alleged drunk driver near his Army base in Fort Stewart, Ga. The drunk driver also perished in the crash but Garner’s passenger survived.

A 2013 graduate of Dayton High School, Garner joined the U.S. Army two years later. He was proud to serve his country and being a part of the Army infantry, said his sister, Eliska Garner.

The Garner family – mom, Dianne, sister, Eliska, and brothers, Jacob and Adam, and Levi’s 6-year-old son, Jace – learned of his tragic loss when they were notified by Texas state troopers last Monday night. Dianne said that as word began to spread among Levi’s friends, they soon began showing up at her home in Dayton.

“As soon as word got out on social media, our yard was covered with kids. All of his friends from high school and their parents were here. The community knows what a loss this was. If anyone ever met or knew him, they would say how he touched their lives,” Dianne said.

His mom and sister say Levi used his smile and charm to win people over. He never met a stranger and made everyone feel loved.

“If you knew him, you would smile when you talked about him,” Eliska said. “He was the light of the family. We were all so proud of him. He was everybody’s baby in the family. He was everyone’s favorite, too.”

As an Army specialist, Levi completed one nine-month deployment to South Korea. His funeral will be held on Friday, at 10 a.m., at First Baptist Church in Dayton. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Dayton.

Previous articleLetter to community: Dayton ISD graduation set for June 20
Next articleLinda Jeanean Pike
Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. Rest In Peace Levi you will be truly missed never forgotten I know your watching down on Jayce and your family and friends, you were so awesome and funny I’ll never forget the memories in school. Rest Easy

  2. My heart breaks for everyone. So sad that his little son will never get to grow up with him. Prayers & condolences from Mississippi

  3. Thank you Levi for your dedicated service. I don’t know you or your family but i do know you will be greatly missed and was dearly loved. May God watch over your family and guide them with peace and comfort as they adjust to their new way of living without you in their lives.

  4. As a military mom with a son in the marines. My heart breaks for your family. I can’t imagine the pain. It hits home when I too live in Dayton. Thank you for your service. May you rest easy and Fly high with Angels.. God Bless you all.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.