GRIFFIN, Ga. -- Two communities, both dealing with tremendous loss, are coming together to support each another as they cope with painful tragedy.
Griffin High School student Lanazia Mizell died in the early morning hours of Sept. 28. She was hit while crossing North Expressway near Griffin -- not far from her home, according to a Georgia State Patrol accident report. Two witnesses saw the tragedy and one even claimed to almost hit the teen moments before the fatal crash occurred.
Days later, students and faculty at Griffin High are still grappling with the idea that Mizell is gone. The school held a moment of silence and student groups have sent letters to the grieving family.
It's in those last two events that a seemingly unrelated county's name is popping up. Pike County, which is still grappling with the loss of a high school football player after a Friday night injury, is joining in on fundraisers for Mizell's family, almost 15 miles away.
In the comments of the page set up to organize the vigil, one post shows a large banner full of signatures and messages. In the middle are the words "fly high LANAZIA." Matthew Watkins, who shared the photo, said it came from Pike County students.
Danielle Hill, a member of a Pike County community page on Facebook, also shared a post on that page hoping to raise money for the Mizell family.
"I’m asking the Pike County Community to please also come together to help the family of this young girl from Griffin that lost her life," she said. "This family also needs our support."
It's a time of two tragedies tied together by love and support of one another. But, in a time when both groups are suffering the two groups have also found a commonality -- their humanity.