Society

Families Comforted By 'Pathway To Heaven' Image (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty

The families of two Georgia women and a 9-month-old baby killed in a car crash have said that they were comforted by an unusual photo taken at the scene of the accident.

Hannah Simmons, 23, was killed along with her 9-month-old daughter, A'lannah Hopkins, and her friend Lauren Bateau, 28, in an April 25 car crash, the Daily Mail reports.

"[Hannah] lost control of the steering, causing the vehicle to strike a concrete curb along the right side of [the road]," said Georgia State Patrol in a statement, reports the Gainesville Times. "[The Subaru] then traveled over the center concrete median while rotating counterclockwise into the path of the [Ford truck]."

Dana Collins, 61, crashed into Hannah's Subaru on the passenger side. Collins did not suffer any major injuries, but Hannah and Bateau died at the site of the crash. The baby was rushed to the hospital, where she died from her injuries.

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The women's families said they found hope in a photograph of the crash.

In the image, a ray of light shines down onto the scene of the accident, and two small white spots are caught in the middle. The driver who took the photo, Anisa Gannon, 19, didn't expect the unusual effect.

She said that she took the picture "as proof that I was sitting in the wreck," according to People magazine, "in case my boss wondered why I was late."

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Gannon said when her aunt, Tara Noble, noticed the lights as soon as she looked at the photo.

"She said, 'Anisa, it looks like a pathway up to heaven,'" Gannon said.

Gannon said that while she believes the light in the image is just a glare from her window, "it still looks like a pathway to heaven."

"I didn't mean to do it," she said. "But it makes me feel good that just the little things can help somebody tremendously."

"I don't believe in coincidences, especially the two 'lights' inside that bigger light," said Noble. "It brought the families peace, whether it's a glare or not."

"It's indescribable, basically," Noble added. "And it does look like them leaving."

Noble showed the image to Hannah's mother, Judy, who called the photo a gift.

"I just wanted to give them some peace," Noble recalled.

"That picture was taken for a reason -- to give me sanity," said Judy. "Hannah was also my best friend, and she's looking down from heaven now."

"I just needed something to show me that they were in Heaven and that they were OK," the mother added. "And that was my confirmation."

"Nothing’s ever going to be the same, my heart's broken and I miss them daily," Judy continued. "If it wasn’t for the picture, I don’t know, it made it a whole lot better for me."

Sources: Daily Mail, Gainesville Times, People / Kamil Porembinski/Flickr, Anisa Gannon via People

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