By Tia Lynn Ivey
Amemorial service will be held this Monday, May 22 in memory of Michael Rhodes, the Morgan County High School (MCHS) senior that was killed in a car crash in April along with his girlfriend, Brittany Smith. The service will be held at Madison First United Methodist Church at 5 p.m.
Fundraisers for both Michael and Brittany were launched through GoFundMe for both Michael and Brittany, as well as Michael’s mother, Tracey, who was critically injured in the crash.
As of press time on Tuesday, May 16, The Rhodes Family fundraiser has earned $41,442, raised by 349 donors in 21 days. Their goal is to raise $50,000. Brittany’s fundraiser has earned $23,212, raised by 287 donors in 22 days.
To donate to the Rhodes Family, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/rxh5ba-the-rhodes-family. To donate to Brittany Smith’s fundraiser, visit: www.gofundme.com/brittany-smith-funeral-expenses.
Michael and Brittany died during a fatal car crash on Route 441 in Putnam County, near the Morgan County line. Michael, who just turned 18 earlier in April, was set to graduate at MCHS next week. Smith, 19, graduated at MCHS last year and was currently a freshman at the University of North Georgia. Tracey Rhodes, Michael’s mother was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which also carried her other son, Adam, 14. Tracey Rhodes was headed north towards Madison when the car hydroplaned and crossed over the centerline into the south lane of oncoming traffic, colliding head on with a Jeep Compass driven by Kaitlyn Black, 24, of Bethlehem. Tracey, Adam, and Kaitlyn were transported to Athens Regional Hospital. Tracey was reported to be in critical condition and is now recovering at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Kaitlyn was also reported to be in critical condition. Her current condition is unknown as of press time on Tuesday, May 16. Michael and Brittany were pronounced dead at the scene. Their loss has sent shock waves of grief through MCHS, as students mourn and share fond memories of the popular couple. Michael was an athlete who played on both the football and wrestling teams. Brittany played on the MCHS Softball team and was also a dancer with the Pointe of Grace Dance Academy.
The MCHS Athletic Department released a statement honoring Michael and Brittany after learning of the accident in late April.
“Tonight we join the Smith and Rhodes families in mourning the loss of two outstanding young people. Brittany Smith and Michael Rhodes were wonderful souls who always lifted up those around them. Their bright smiles and genuine, caring natures made everyone around them feel good about themselves. Brittany and Michael- we are all better off for having had you impact our lives.”