Macon school honors student, family killed in car crash


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Macon elementary school  honored a student who was killed along with members of her family in a car crash last week.

Students and staff at Heritage Elementary released balloons for seven-year-old Zhia Franklin.

She, her mother Tina Butler, and her one-year-old brother were killed after their car hydroplaned and flipped into a flooded ditch in Colquitt.

Principal Jennifer Askew says she and her staff wanted to give students a chance to say goodbye.

“I could see by the looks on some of their faces it was a fun activity and of course different things trigger different children and still some tears, but we’re here for that journey with them,” Askew said.

A funeral for the family is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16th.

It’s at the Old Miller County High School in Colquitt.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at