A mom from Philadelphia, Anisa Gannon was on her way to work when she got stuck in some bad traffic from a fatal accident up ahead. She quickly took a picture of the traffic to send to her boss so he would know why she was late, but she never guessed that quick snapshot would end up providing peace and comfort to so many.
Hannah Simmons, 23, had been driving with her 9-month-old daughter, A’lannah, and friend Lauren Buteau, 28, when she lost control of her car and veered into the pathway of an oncoming truck. All three of them were killed.
When Anisa showed her aunt, Tara Noble, the picture later, Tara noticed something stunning. There appeared to be a golden beam of light coming down from heaven onto the wreckage.
“She said, ‘Anisa, it looks like a pathway up to heaven,’” Anisa recalled.
She decided to try and track down the victims’ families so she could give them the photo.
“I just wanted to give them some peace,” she said.
She had no idea just how much that picture would mean.
“I just needed something to show me that they were in Heaven and that they were OK,” Hannah’s mom, Judy Simmons, said. “And that was my confirmation.”
She said she keeps a printout of the picture on top of her TV so she can look at it all day and find comfort.
“Nothing’s ever going to be the same, my heart’s broken and I miss them daily,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the picture, I don’t know, it made it a whole lot better for me.”
Lauren’s aunt, Jodi Carter, said when she sees the picture “it takes my breath and gives me chills. It gives me hope. That picture has made me get through this.
Lauren’s mom, Dana Cantrell, added, “It gave me a peace that was indescribable.”
At the time of the accident, Hannah had just moved in with her fiance, Javont’e Hopkins, and was a few months pregnant with their second child.
Javont’e, who lost his whole family in the blink of an eye, is heartbroken but said the photo “is bringing me peace, I know they’re watching down on me. It’s helping a lot.”
The families were having a hard time paying for funeral costs, so supporters have started two separate GoFundMe accounts for Hanna and A’lanna and Lauren.
Anisa said she believes the beam of light was just a glare from her window, but admitted “It still looks like a pathway to heaven. I didn’t mean to do it, but it makes me feel good that just the little things can help somebody tremendously.”