An extraordinary photo snapped by a Georgia teenager stuck in traffic at the scene of a fatal car accident late last month is bringing comfort to the grieving families of the two women and the 9-month-old baby girl killed in the wreck.
Hannah Simmons, 23, her daughter, A’lannah, just 9 months old months, and friend Lauren Buteau, 28, perished in the tragic accident on April 25 in Gainesville, Georgia. Anisa Gannon, 19, was caught in the traffic jam caused by the wreck. She was on her way to work at the time. Gannon told PEOPLE magazine that she snapped the photo so she’d have proof to show her boss about why she was severely late for work that day. It wasn’t until well later, Gannon said, when her aunt, Tara Noble, examined the photo that they noticed something unusual: A ray of what appears to be golden light stretching from the destroyed automobile directly up to the bright blue sky.
“She said, ‘Anisa, it looks like a pathway up to heaven,’” Gannon said. Noble then took it upon herself to track down the relatives of the victims who died in the crash. “I just wanted to give them some peace,” she told PEOPLE.
Noble was able to find the surviving members of the victims and showed them the photo, and it is bringing them comfort in the midst of a senseless tragedy.
Judy Simmons, Hannah’s mother, said, “I just needed something to show me that they were in heaven and that they were OK. And that was my confirmation.” She added, “Nothing’s ever going to be the same, my heart’s broken and I miss them daily. If it wasn’t for the picture, I don’t know, it made it a whole lot better for me.”
Buteau’s aunt, Jodi Carter, expressed a similar sentiment. “It takes my breath and gives me chills. It gives me hope. That picture has made me get through this,” she said. Watch the video below for more on the story.
Read the full story at PEOPLE.