A Louisiana State University football fan has created a fundraising campaign for the children of two Georgia Southern University football fans who were killed in a horror car crash while traveling home from Southern’s first football game of the season in Baton Rouge. They were attending the game in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary.
Danny and Julie Hagan were killed after crashing on their way home to Georgia from Baton Rouge on September 1. According to reports, the Hagan’s were driving down Interstate 16 near Swainsboro when their vehicle began to hydroplane in the rain, spinning off the road and smashing into a tree.
Danny was killed instantly, while Julie passed away after being rushed to the Augusta University Medical Center.
Discovering that the couple had three children who all attended Georgia Southern University, one fan decided to do something to help the family at this difficult time — so he set up a GoFundMe page.
“I read the story and the idea popped in my head, and I hopped on GoFundMe and set it up,” LSU fan Michael Booth explained to WAFB-9. “Then posted the link on the message board, then people started sending it out on social media, and it just kind of grew from there.”
Booth got in touch with a family friend to ensure that all donations would be sent to a bank account in aid of the Hagan family.
The GoFundMe has already reached its goal of $45,000. Another separate fundraiser has exceeded $35,000.
Julie’s employer, Powerco, has also been involved in raising funds for the children.
“Julie was the manager of the Savannah Powerco branch and served Georgia Power members for 22 years. She loved her job and was well known to most, if not all, of the members at the Savannah branch office,” the GoFundMe description reads.
“She leaves behind three children currently in college, these funds will be provided to the Hagan kids to help them complete their education.”
“They were my world (and) I will never see another love like my parents had for everyone they met,” daughter Madison Hagan wrote on Facebook.
“They lit up any room. You could feel the love they had for each other & the boys and I. They are the best people. I will never understand why they were taken but we gained two beautiful angels that will watch over us until we meet again,” she added. “Lord knows I cannot wait to see their faces again.”
In a statement on the incident, a Georgia Southern spokesperson said university administrators were “deeply saddened by the loss of two members of our Eagle Nation family,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The president has reached out to the family, as have student affairs officials to ensure the children know of our concern and our willingness to help in any way.”
“We are prepared to provide support to the children — our students — emotionally and academically with any resources we have,” the spokesperson added. “We appreciate greatly the support we have seen for this family and offer our condolences along with the university community.”
“The Hagan vacation and road trip is leading us Home today!!! 12 hour Drive ahead of us,” Danny wrote on Facebook just before the pair were killed. “But we had a Blast…One of the best trips.”
Tributes to the couple have been pouring in on social media.
“Today we said our goodbyes to 2 of the most amazing, kind, genuine, and loving people I have ever met!” Amber McCandless wrote on Facebook. “I still can’t believe it’s real but I am so incredibly thankful that I had the chance to become friends with them. They are everything I hope to be as a parent, wife, and friend. They were truly the best. And boy are they loved!!”
Another mourner praised the poise shown by the Hagan’s children at their funeral. “Just left Danny Hagan & Julie Hagan’s visitation. And i was not prepared for the absolute grace and strength displayed by their 3 children,” wrote Stephanie Breckenridge Britt.
“I always say you know a lot about a person by their children. And Maddison, Matt, & Josh….man I’ve never been so proud. I can only hope and pray my kids would have the wherewithal to plan and greet and smile and thank hundreds of grieving friends….remarkable.”
“Man i cant wait to watch these kids go about life! Pretty proud coach right now! You did good Danny & Julie ….real good. Sure makes you revaluate life when u leave a visitation like that,” Stephanie added. “Raise em tough, independent, & wise with unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. Like the Hagan’s did. Rip my friends! I shall see you again!”
“They always treated me as their own, taking me on trips, giving advice, and showing a whole lot of Hagan love, which I am so grateful for,” wrote Ally Hartsfield. “They have always and will always be family to me. Mrs.julie and Danny were taken way too soon, and I know nothing anyone says or does will make y’all feel better but I pray, Maddie Matt and josh, that y’all find strength within each other to get through this.”
“I love all three of you guys just as I did your parents and my heart absolutely breaks for y’all,” she added. “I’m praying everyday, and sending SO much love yalls way.”
Do pray for the entire extended Hagan family at this devastating time.