Blythe was struck just before 6 p.m. Thursday while crossing Old Allatoona Road with some friends outside the Terminus Wake Park in Emerson. She was flown to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition, then died of her injuries about 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, Bartow County Coroner Joel Guyton said. Police said no charges will be filed against the driver who hit her.
Blythe is survived by her parents, Erik and Zoë, and her three younger siblings, ages 13, 11 and 9.
“She was a wonderful girl and she was always just so sweet. We had a lot of fun together,” Erik Speer said. “I have four children, and she was always my articulate, compassionate adventurer. She was always looking for the next adventure. She loved to travel and always wanted to see new places and do new things.”
He said his oldest daughter also loved working with animals, and volunteered any chance she got.
“She was just really kind to everyone she met. Blythe means joy and I think she lived that out. She brought joy to many, many people,” her father said. “She was always happy and she had a fun time.”
Speer, who lives in Kennesaw’s Legacy Park neighborhood, said he and his wife have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they’ve received from the community over the past several days. He said their friends, Blythe’s classmates and the members of West Ridge Church have rallied behind them in their time of need. Friends have created two fundraising pages for the family, and have provided them with gift certificates for takeout so they don’t have to worry about cooking.
“It’s unbelievable how all of the communities have come together and supported us through this,” he said.
Funeral arrangements haven’t been made yet, but Speer said he’s working with Terminus Wake Park to plan a celebration of life event for his daughter.
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Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter