A Brenau University student from Gainesville, her brother and a friend were killed in a traffic accident in Indiana while on their way to a relative's funeral.
The three died at 10 a.m. Thursday when their car spun out of control in a snowstorm and hit a tractor-trailer on state Route 47 in Waveland, Ind., about 50 miles from Indianapolis, said David Morrison, a spokesman for Brenau.
Amanda Mills, 25, who was in the pre-physician program at Brenau, and brother Logan Mills, 21, a student at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, were in Indiana to attend the funeral of their stepmother, Amber Mills, 42, of Crawfordsville, who recently died of lung cancer.
Anthony Suggs, 25, a friend from Ruskin, Fla., was driving the car. Amanda Mills' 3-year-old daughter, Armaya, was in a car behind her mother and not hurt, Morrison said.
The vehicle spun out on ice, and the tractor-trailer pinned the vehicle against a tree. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Shane Jones, 38, of Waveland, was not hurt.
"We're trying to figure out what we can do here as a community," Morrison said Friday. "I've been getting e-mails all day asking questions about what happened."
Deana Martin, mother of the Mills siblings and a graduate student at Brenau, was told about the accident by phone.
She was at work at Merial Select in Gainesville; the company flew her to Indiana Thursday night.
The funeral home director said about 70 people were waiting for the service to begin when they heard about the crash. A group of the family left the funeral and went to the wreck site.
"It was such a shock that there was no reaction at first, but then it started to become real," Larry Servies, director of Machledt and Servies Funeral Home, told the Associated Press. "We decided to postpone the funeral until Saturday at 10:30."
Gale Starich, dean of Brenau's College of Health & Science and Amanda Mills' faculty adviser, recently helped Mills make plans to participate in the university's physician assistant program in partnership with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
"Amanda was really bright and an up-and-coming student," Starich said Friday. "I got a nice e-mail from her clinical instructor who had her this semester and last and had worked with her quite a bit. Amanda was an adult student who had really found her passion in life and really showed it in her work."
Mills transferred to Brenau in May from Georgia Perimeter College and was lining up courses in Philadelphia for next year.
"It really reminds you how fragile life is and how it can all change," Starich said. "My children live out west, and it makes you want to hold your children closer and really revel in today. You never know when it'll all leave you, and we're thankful her daughter was not injured."
Starich, who also serves as dean of the graduate school, has contacted Martin's instructors.
"We want to support the mom as an important member of our community who goes to school here as well," Starich said. "I know her instructor has been engaged already and is concerned."
Brenau officials haven't made arrangements for Mills in Georgia, but they plan to recognize her at convocation.
"It's been a couple of years ago now that we've lost a student like this," Starich noted. "We'd like to remember her for all she brought to our community."
Associated Press contributed to this report.