PANAMA CITY BEACH – A decision to flee Hurricane Michael for the safety of a relative’s home in Auburn, Alabama proved tragically fatal for one longtime Beach resident.

Betty Sewell McAreavy, 82, was a passenger in a car driven by a longtime friend, John R. Teel, when it was struck head-on while traveling near the town of Seale, Alabama, on Tuesday, Oct. 9. A report by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency concluded that a vehicle driven by a 78-year-old Seale resident crossed the dividing line of the two-lane highway on which both cars were driving, and collided head-on with Teel’s car. McAreavy was pronounced dead on the scene and Teel, 86, was airlifted to a regional medical center where he remains in guarded condition.

Betty Joyce Sewell McAreavy was born in Oxford, Alabama. on June 30, 1936, the daughter of Lewis G. Sewell and Francis Haynes. After attending local schools in the Oxford area, Ms. Mcareavy worked as a secretary for many years.

After retiring from her job with the Family and Child Services Department in Birmingham, she moved to Panama City Beach in 1991.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Panama City Beach and was well known in her community for her amateur paintings.

She is survived by two daughters, Mary Ann Roberts of Auburn, and Tamora Trammell of Panama City Beach.

The family plans for a Memorial Service to be held in Oxford later this month, but details are still pending.