A 5-year-old girl was killed while 22 other students and a bus driver were all injured during a school bus crash in South Georgia.
On Tuesday, the driver of a Liberty County school bus lost control, ran off the road and went into a ditch. When the bus veered off, the vehicle hit a tree, forcing the roof to collapse, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Upon impact, the roof of the bus caved in on the occupants,” the Georgia State Patrol(GSP) told the AJC.
Cambria Schuman of Hinesville was identified by the GSP as the child killed during the crash. She was a student in the Liberty County School System; however, the name of her school has not yet been revealed.
22 other children on the bus sustained multiple injuries and were taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center and Winn Army Community Hospital, according to the GSP.
Bus driver Evelyn Rodriguez, 62, was trapped in the bus after the crash, yet she was later freed and transported to Memorial Health in Savannah.
The school system is asking the community to pray for those involved in the crash. Grief counselors have been made available to students and staff, the district reported.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family in their time of grief,” Chief Academic Officer Patti Crane said in a statement to the AJC.
At this time, police believe the driver was not under the influence, having a medical issue or having to swerve to avoid another vehicle or animal. A recording from inside the bus reportedly shows the crash occurred when the bus was switching gears.
“The rear end of the bus struck a ditch and as she was trying to gain control, she was grabbing for the gear shift and the vehicle was still traveling eastbound down this road, Ray Road, and that’s when it ran into a ditch and struck a tree,” Lt. Thornell King of the Georgia State Patrol told WOTC.