Groom's best friend speaks after deadly accident killed bride-to-be, injured passengers

Groom's best friend speaks after deadly accident killed bride-to-be, injured passengers

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A LaGrange woman was planning to get married this weekend. Now, Meghann Smith's family is planning for her funeral.

Kyle Pickels, who would have been the best man at Meghann Smith's wedding, is best friends with her fiancé Kenneth Belcher.

"Me and Kenneth have been best friends since we were in diapers," Pickels said.

Pickels said he had gotten to know Smith well over the last few months, getting ready for what would've been an unforgettable day.

Pickels said Smith and her friends were driving northbound on I-185 in Columbus early Sunday morning, heading home from their bachelorette party.

While celebrating with the groom in Alabama, he got the call saying something had gone wrong.

"We received a call at around 1:20 in the morning from my buddy Cody's wife," Pickels said. "She called crying, screaming, 'We got in a really bad wreck - we got hit two times.' We all expected the worst, we didn't know anything."

The group of men drove to Columbus as soon as the call ended. The situation became even more serious for Pickels, when he found out someone in his own family could have perished in the crash.

"My wife Savannah was sitting right next to Meghann in the back seat of the car, whenever the crash happened," Pickels said.

Pickels, Belcher, and one other friend waited for hours in the ER before getting to see any doctors. Pickels felt his buddy Kenneth would receive the worst news that morning.

"I think we all kind of figured it out when they called me and [my friend] back to the ICU, the ER, to see our wives, and they never called Kenneth to see Meghann," Pickels

Pickels believes that in her last moments, Smith, an elementary school teacher, never stopped thinking about the children she'd impacted in her life.

"Every other woman who was in that car - the three women who made it out - were all mothers," Pickels said. "And we feel like Meghann was watching out for all of our sons and daughters, making sure they still had their mom to come home to."

Pickels said his wife is still at an Atlanta-area hospital, recovering from surgery to repair both her upper jaw and pelvis.

He says she's emotionally torn her friend Meghann did not get to have her wedding.

Funeral arrangements have been announced for Smith. She will be laid to rest Friday, a day before her wedding. The funeral will be held at First Baptist Church in Thomaston at 4 p.m.

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