Young Gwinnett women killed in Athens crash will be 'missed by so many'

Olivia Cox was 22, a Snellville native who studied at Georgia Gwinnett College and worked at a café in Buckhead. She was, according to a family friend, “the epitome of love, adventure, and happiness.”

Megan Smith was 23 and also from Snellville. The details of her life were harder to uncover Tuesday, three days after she and Cox were killed in an Athens car crash, and attempts to contact friends and family of both girls were unsuccessful – but social media reaction made it clear they were beloved.

“Just a couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with y’all one last time,” friend Andrew Prater wrote on Facebook. “Y’all were such beautiful energetic individuals who have made a lasting impression on everyone [whose] lives you touched.”

According to information released by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Cox and Smith were riding in a friend’s Nissan Sentra on Saturday afternoon when it drove off Loop 10 near the Milledge Avenue exit. The driver, 21-year-old Social Circle resident Madison Lind Wilhelm, overcorrected and it crossed the median into oncoming traffic.

Their car was hit by a Cadillac Deville.

Cox died at the scene, and Smith died at the hospital. The Cadillac’s driver, Wilhelm and three other passengers in the Altima were all taken to Athens Regional Medical Center. One passenger, 23-year-old Monroe resident Justin William Maddox, was originally listed in critical condition.

Late Tuesday morning, a page established to provide updates on Maddox's condition said his "stats were good all night."

“They are lowering sedation so he is moving a lot which is good,” the page said. “They may start a feeding tube today.”

A GoFundMe page set up by a friend of Cox's family had raised more than $16,000 by Tuesday afternoon. Ryan Carter, who plays football at Clemson University and attended Grayson High School, posted a heartfelt message about both girls.

“Meg and Olivia you will be missed by so many,” he wrote. “Thank you for having an impact on me and all the lives and people that knew you two. Those smiles will forever remain in me.”

No citations or charges were filed in the crash, pending an investigation, Athens police said.