Back in 2017, two young moms and a baby girl lost their lives in a fatal car crash in Gainesville, Georgia.
The crash left their families devastated, naturally, and broke the hearts of everyone who heard about it.
Another young woman witnessed the tragedy while on her way to work that day, and she even took a picture of it.
In the photo, what looks like a “pathway to heaven” can be seen floating up from the crash, and it dramatically impacted the bereaved family members of the victims.
On April 25, 2017, 23-year-old Hannah Simmons was driving with her friend Lauren Buteau, 28.
The two girlfriends were heading to Hannah’s nine-month-old daughter A’lannah’s routine check-up.
However, at one point, Hanna lost control of the vehicle, for reasons unknown, and they swerved into oncoming traffic.
They then collided head-on with a truck coming in the opposite direction.
The three died on-site, while the truck driver was unharmed.
What’s even more saddening, Hannah was also a few months pregnant at the time with her and her fiancé’s second baby.
That same morning, 19-year-old Anisa Gannon was on her way to work. Due to the traffic the crash caused, she was stuck, so she quickly snapped a picture of the wreck to send to her boss.
She wanted to avoid any trouble for being late to work, and she didn’t even notice anything strange in the photo.
However, when she showed it to her aunt, Tara Noble, later that day, the two couldn’t believe their eyes!
There appeared to be this beam of light rising from the wreck! The path went straight up to the sky – right up to heaven.
“She said, ‘Anisa, it looks like a pathway up to heaven.”
As soon Tara noticed it, she knew that the photo might be comforting to the victims’ families and friends. Therefore, she decided to track down Hannah and Lauren’s families so that she could give them the photo and give them some peace.
Photo taken by Anisa Gannon which was dubbed “A Pathway to Heaven”
She knew they were all heartbroken, having lost their daughters, nieces, sisters, wives, partners, friends, and a baby in the crash. Hannah’s fiancé lost the love of his life and his children all in one go.
Lauren’s two young children lost their mother.
There was nothing that could make the pain of these people go away, but she hoped that the photo would bring them some comfort.
And it did.
Hannah’s mom, Judy Simmons, later said:
“I just needed something to show me that they were in Heaven and that they were OK. And that was my confirmation.”
Lauren’s mother Dana Buteau shared Judy’s sentiment, adding that it gave her indescribable peace:
“I can’t explain the feeling [that] came over me. It was like watching them go to heaven.”
The photo has helped Lauren’s aunt, Jodi Carter, as well. She claims it gave her hope and helped her cope up with it all.
Judy keeps the photo on top of her TV so she can see it every day. She said:
“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.”
Hannah’s family describes her as a very happy person who loved being a mom. The enthusiastic mom kept playing patty cake with her daughter and loved singing nursery rhymes to her. At nine months, A’lannah was already ripping around the house with the help of her baby walker.
Lauren was depicted as a loving mother as well, who was always “the life of the party”.
Her mother said:
“If she walked into a room, everyone knew it, she always had a smile on her face and she would do anything for anybody.”
The crash entirely devastated Hannah’s fiancé. He lost it all in a day. He prepared for a second baby, planned his wedding with Hannah, enjoyed their life together, and out of the blue, he had nothing anymore.
He also stated that the photo has helped him find some peace as he navigates a life that will now look very different from the one that he was envisioning:
“[the photo] is bringing me peace, I know they’re watching down on me. It’s helping a lot.”
Even though they were aware of the fact that the pain of losing their dearest ones will never fade away completely, Anisa and Tara are glad they could give the grieving families a bit of peace, comfort, and hope.