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Society

Mom And Newborn Escape Irma, Killed In Crash (Photo)

| by Sheena Vasani

A Florida mother and baby who escaped Hurricane Irma to seek shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, both died after getting hit by a car.

A Jeep struck Kaitlyn Hunt, her 3-month-old daughter, Riley, and a family friend while they were crossing the street at around 9 p.m. on Sept. 9, reports WXIA.

Riley was pronounced dead at the hospital, reports the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News. Kaitlyn, 28, was on life support for three days.

On  Sept. 11, the mother was pronounced brain-dead, and died in the hospital on Sept. 12.

Authorities say the family friend, 61-year-old Kathy Deming, is still in the hospital.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Marianne Kelley says Deming suffered "many broken bones and internal injuries," but added that she is "slowly recovering."

No charges have been filed against the 17-year-old driver of the Jeep, Zoe Reardon. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash.

According to a GoFundMe page created by MadLife Director Kerrie Melton Levi for the family, Hunt had fled her home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, to try to keep her daughter safe.

Hunt leaves behind her husband and high school sweetheart, Brandon Hunt, whom she had married in March 2016.

File:Irma 2017 track.png"Brandon's whole life has been forever changed and will never be the same again," reads the GoFundMe page. "He lost his only daughter/child and the love of his life since High School. It is possible, he may also go back to FL to find destruction of his home or possibly no home at all. He has a lot of healing ahead of him."

Levi hopes to raise $100,000 to help Brandon rebuild.

"None of us can fathom the pain [Brandon] and the rest of the family involved are feeling right now," the page adds. "But there is something we can do to try to ease his burdens, as much as we can. Please find it in your heart to donate to this beautiful family. Every penny and prayer counts and is much appreciated."

In the first day of fundraising, loved ones and strangers had donated $44,355.

"I am so brokenhearted for a family I never knew, may God comfort you through this sad time!" wrote one person.

"My condolences to all of you," added another. "The Vandiver Family lived next door to us growing up. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors or friends. Lots of great memories. Our hearts and prayers are with you & the entire family."

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