This Georgia woman just wanted to capture a picture of a car wreck scene to show her boss why she was late. She certainly never anticipated the photo would capture a mysterious beam of light that gave a ray of hope to the victims’ families.
On April 25, 2017, Hannah Simmons, 23, was driving her 9-month-old baby girl, A’lannah, to a routine checkup when she lost control of her Subaru Legacy and slammed into a truck in Gainesville, Georgia.
The tragic accident killed Hannah Simmons—who was a few months pregnant—her baby, and another friend on board, Lauren Butea, 28.
Anisa Gannon, 19, was on her way to work when she was stuck in a traffic jam due to the deadly crash.
To prove to her boss that she was late for work due to a car wreck, Gannon snapped a photo of the scene.
Initially, Gannon didn’t notice anything peculiar about the photo until she showed it to her aunt, Tara Gannon Noble.
Noble saw the photo had captured something stunning.
The image shows a beam of light linking the wreckage to the sky, and two small orbs can be seen within the beam.
“Oh, my gosh. It’s a pathway to heaven,” Noble told Gannon, as reported by TODAY.
Although the strange light might be understood to be windshield glare or lens flare, Noble has her understanding. “It brought the families peace, whether it’s a glare or not,” she said.
So, Noble decided to locate the families of Simmons and Butea.
Eventually, Noble tracked down the victims’ loved ones to give them copies of the image.
And just as she anticipated, the photo brought peace to the grieving relatives.
Hannah Simmons’s mom, Judy Simmons, placed the printout of the photo above her television.
“Nothing’s ever going to be the same, my heart’s broken and I miss them daily,” Judy Simmons told PEOPLE. “If it wasn’t for the picture, I don’t know, it made it a whole lot better for me.”
The photo also gave Butea’s mom, Dana Cantrell, “a peace that was indescribable.”
The mothers were able to find peace amidst grief, because through the photo, they believe their children are now in a better place.
“[You] don’t know how much that photo means to me,” Judy Simmons said. “Thank you.”
Paige Wilson, a cousin of one of the victims, hopes the photo will allow some people to be more open-minded about an afterlife.
“If it is able to change even one person’s faith for the better, something’s been done right,” Wilson said.
We’re glad this depiction of a beam of light is able to provide these families peace and comfort.