Aimee Odom remembered: Heartfelt farewell for 21-year-old killed in I-75 crash

Family and friends gathered to remember the life of Aimee Odom, the 21-year-old Cartersville woman who was killed in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Bartow County on May 19. 

They celebrated her life at Owen Funeral Home in Cartersville on Friday. 

"We are who we are because of Aimee, you will always be in our hearts," one of her friends said at the ceremony. 

Odom’s friend, Alexis Raines, and her friend’s mother, Heather Pasley, were there.  

"It was helpful to say goodbye with everybody that loved her," said Raines. 

"It was truly a testimony to the people's lives that Aimee touched," said Pasley. 

Honoring Aimee Odom 

Some of Odom’s closest friends say they plan to immortalize her at one of her favorite spots in Cartersville. They described how she loves to visit Sam Smith Park, along the Etowah River Walk. They hope she can be immortalized there in some form. 

Raines says when they lost Aimee, the world lost a bright light.

 "Heartbreaking. Sad. Just, I don't even know how to put it into words," Raines said. "She was so funny. She was always so kind to people. She could just make you her friend immediately because she was, so, just caring about anybody. If you knew her you loved her."

She said they hope to plant a tree to honor her in the park she loves. 

"She loved going there. She loved watching the sunsets or the walking, and just being out in nature. We just want to plant a tree there. So, whenever we go, we can always think about her and have a place," Raines said. 

She says this is what Aimee's family wants as well. Her mother, Barbara Odom, says she wanted a way to have the community be able to remember her daughter because she loved the Cartersville community. And it's a place where Aimee spent one day last week running and working out." So, the pair is now raising money to plant her tree here and install a plaque.  

"So, a chance to honor her parents, their request to have a tree planted with a plaque in Aimee's memory so people can think of her each time they're there, just meant the world to us," Pasley said.  

The two have started a GoFundMe for the tree. Once they’ve raised the funds, they plan to hold a dedication ceremony.  

Who is Aimee Odom? 

Aimee Odom was born in Rome and graduated from Cartersville High School, where she was involved with golf, basketball, track, and the yearbook. She was also a member of the Bartow/Etowah High School Civil Air Patrol, according to her obituary. 

Aimee Odom (Photos courtesy of Allyson Gray)

Odom was majoring in UX design at Kennesaw State University and held two part-time jobs at the time of her death—one at Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville and the other at Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth. 

Odom loved to be around people of any age and was a beloved member of the Cartersville community. Aimee reportedly never met a stranger and to know her was to love her. She also loved to travel and learned to fly a plane before she could drive a car. Additionally, she liked to snow ski, fish, and ride horses. 

RELATED: Bartow County I-75 crash: 21-year-old Cartersville resident to be buried Friday

Allyson Gray told FOX 5 Atlanta that Aimee was her best friend and she "truly was the warmest soul anyone would ever meet." Gray said that Odom meant the world to her and always would. Gray also said that even though Aimee wasn't blood, she was family, and her heart is absolutely shattered knowing she will never hear her laugh again.  

Another close friend, McClain Knight, described Aimee as an "amazing person" who "always had a smile on her face no matter what." 

Aimee is survived by her parents, aunts, uncle, cousins and others.  

Deadly crash on I-75 in Bartow County 

Crash on I-75 Southbound before Red Top Mountain Road CR 633 (Credit: GDOT)

Aimee Odom and four other people were killed in the crash last Sunday. It happened just before 6 p.m. near Red Top Mountain Road. According to the Georgia State Patrol, a Kia van was traveling north on the interstate when it left the roadway and entered the southbound lanes, hitting a Chevy Tahoe and a Toyota 4Runner. After the crash, the Kia and Toyota were hit by a commercial vehicle, and a Hyundai SUV hit the back of the Chevy. 

Odom, who was on her way to a graduation party, was driving the Toyota 4Runner. The other three victims were in the Kia van. They were also residents of Cartersville. Officials identified them as 43-year-old Dakari Mason, 35-year-old Erin Mason, and 14-year-old Brandon Crawford. Mason was a civil employee of the Holly Springs Police Department. Crawford was a student at Hamilton Crossing Elementary School.  

One adult and one juvenile in the Hyundai, and the driver of the Chevy Tahoe were also injured. They have not been identified.