LSU football fans are passionate, fierce defenders of their school, but when two Georgia Southern fans died in a car accident after leaving the game on Aug. 31, fans from both teams came together to support the family of the deceased.
Danny and Julie Hagan were driving home on I-16 near Swainboro, Georgia, when their vehicle hydroplaned and crashed into a tree in the median, according to several news reports. Danny Hagan was pronounced dead at the scene, while Julie died later in a hospital.
Two days after the accident, Mandeville resident Michael Booth created a GoFundMe for the Hagan children. Booth said he initially set the goal at $5,000 because he worried $10,000 might be too much. As of Sept. 11, the donations stand at around $43,000, and the goal has since been increased to $45,000.
“It just kind of popped into my head to go set up a fund for the three kids. They’ve got three kids that all go to Georgia Southern,” Booth said.
Booth said he was proud to see LSU fans rally together and support the GoFundMe. People from around the country and other parts of the world donated, he said.
Over 1,000 people have contributed so far. Many of those donors left comments expressing their sympathy for the children.
“I pray this helps the children in some small way,” Melissa Murphy said on GoFundMe.org. “From the people here in Baton Rouge, know that our thoughts and prayers are with y’all. God bless.”
“I have two teenagers, I worry about them driving and being in an accident, and it breaks my heart three children lost their young parents,” Stephen Minor commented.
Others noted their happiness at seeing college football fans from different schools supporting a human cause.
“We’re all football fans, and some things are bigger than sports,” Rob Teal commented.
“Not an LSU fan (OLE MISS) but cheer for them often,” Dustin Thomas commented. “Great cause and would like to contribute to the cause. I will even give a GO TIGERS! For this cause and prayers will continue going up for this family.”
Many of the donors commented on how they had children of their own and could not fathom the pain the Hagans’ children are feeling. Booth said that he wanted to start the GoFundMe was because he has three children of similar age.
Booth said he has been in contact with people who were close to the Hagans and that the children have expressed an interest in using some of the funds to continue their education.
“Tons of different people at Georgia Southern, they’re all saying that they’re LSU fans for life,” Booth said.
If you would like to donate, click here.