November 28, 2020

Teacher killed in 3-car crash one week before her wedding

(Lagrange, GA) — Funeral services will take place Friday for a Troup County teacher tragically killed early Sunday morning just one week from her wedding date.

Meghann Estelle Smith, 24, of Lagrange died in a bizarre three-vehicle crash on I-185 near Columbus.

Smith was the passenger in a Kia Soul driven by her friend Emily Fomby Thompson of Franklin. Thompson, Smith, and two other friends had spent the day Saturday preparing for and celebrating Smith’s upcoming wedding to her fiancé Kenneth William Belcher.

Meghann Smith

Meghann Smith

Of the three vehicles involved in the two collisions, authorities believe Thompson was the only driver not under the influence.

According to accounts by Thompson, the first alleged under the influence southbound driver that crossed the median on I-185 in a Nissan Maxima did not cause the fatality, but rather a second northbound vehicle did the most damage and cost Smith her life.

This second vehicle did not notice the first accident in time and was also driven by an alleged under the influence driver according to Columbus Police Sgt. Fred Carnes.

Emily Thompson, a 2009 graduate of Heard High School, spoke with the Heard Citizen Tuesday evening about the accident and about the loss of her close friend.

“You just have to think about more than yourself when you decide to drive drunk,” said Thompson. “There are just too many options available now to take the chance of driving yourself! Because of the careless decision of two different individuals to get behind the wheel intoxicated, we have lost one of the best friends we could have ever had.”

Thompson says that Meghann Smith was a loving individual that meant so much to so many people.

“Meghann’s parents lost their daughter, her siblings lost their sister, her students lost their teacher, her fiancé lost his bride just six days before their big day,” Thompson stated. “Meg was such a sweet person. She was so kind-hearted and full of love — love for everyone. To know Meg was to love her. She never didn’t have a smile on her face. I hope her infectious smile lives on through the ones she loved. She wouldn’t want it to be any different.”

A native of Thomaston, Smith was a teacher at Ethel W. Kight Elementary School in LaGrange. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from LaGrange College.

This was Smith’s second year at the school, where she ran a reading program for students K-5, said Troup County School System spokesman Yolanda Stephens to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The school offered the young students grief counseling on Monday.

“She was a bright young lady who touched many students’ lives. She was a kind teacher who was always excited about building relationships with the students and her faculty mates,” Ethel W. Kight Principal Candace McGhee said in a statement this week. “Meghann made a tremendous impact on those who were learning how to read or had difficulty grasping reading concepts. We are going to miss her and our prayers go out to her family during this time.”

The wedding was scheduled this weekend at Oakhurst Farm, a West Point event venue. And like many brides, Smith was counting down to the days on her Facebook page.

On Thursday of last week, Smith posted a selfie with one of her students.

“This little one has my heart!” Smith wrote. “Since last year, she has counted down with me to the wedding. Today we celebrated a little extra because we are in SINGLE DIGITS!!”

Funeral services for Meghann Smith will be held Friday, October 21, at 4:00 PM, at the First Baptist Church of Thomaston. Rev. Bill Barber and Rev. Joy Smith will officiate, and burial will follow in the Valley Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends in LaGrange on Thursday, October 20, from 10 until 12 noon, at the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange, and in Thomaston, on Thursday evening from 6 until 8 PM, at Fletcher-Day Funeral Home.

Smith was a graduate of Upson-Lee High School and a member of the First Baptist Church of Thomaston.

(The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer contributed to this report.)


  1. Kathy brown says

    Sorry for your lose I have walk those step two time with a son and them with a son law mill by a drive drink that make it hard to tell three small children and my daughter

  2. Ann Anderson says

    Praying for all!!!!

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