A fatal car accident took the lives of three people from Gainesville, Georgia on April 25, when the driver allegedly lost control of the car and swerved into an oncoming truck. The victims included Hannah Simmons , 23, who was a few months pregnant, her 9-month-old daughter A’lannah and mother of two, Lauren Butea, 28.
That day Anisa Gannon, 19, was driving to work, when she encountered the accident while sitting in traffic. She snapped a quick photo of the scene on her phone to show her boss — just in case she was late. At first, Gannon didn’t find anything extraordinary about the picture — until she showed it to her aunt, Tara Gannon Noble.
“Anisa showed it to me and I said ‘Oh my gosh, look at that photo,'” Noble told GoodHousekeeping.com, referencing a beam of light in the middle of the picture, spanning from the wreckage to the clouds. According to Gannon, her aunt said the beam looked like a “pathway up to heaven.”
Noble was amazed by the photo, and after some deliberation she decided the light beam might bring peace to those affected by the crash. She located the loved ones of the victims, and gave them copies of the photo, which, according to her, has since helped many of them cope. “I just wanted to give them some peace,” Noble told People.
Her idea was definitely thoughtful, and the family members of Hannah, A’lannah and Lauren, are all very moved. In fact, Hannah’s mother Judy Simmons, keeps a printout of the picture on top her television, so it’s always in view. “I just needed something to show me that they were in Heaven and that they were okay, and that was my confirmation,” Simmons said, adding that the photo made coping a lot better for her.
Lauren’s mother, Dana Cantrell, feels the same way. “It gave me a peace that was indescribable,” she told People, adding that Lauren left behind two children, and “always had a smile on her face and would do anything for anybody.”
Now, amidst the grief, the families of the victims are having a hard time paying for funeral arrangements. Gannon and Noble are very passionate about helping the families raise money, and urge people everywhere to donate to Lauren’s GoFundMe page, as well as Hannah and A’lannah’s.
“I’m glad the photo brought them peace,” Noble said. “I would just really like to see both families raise enough money to pay for the funerals.”