17-year-old killed, 39 injured after bus crash in Fulton County


A 17-year-old girl was killed Thursday after a bus crash in Fulton County, which also included 39 injuries.

The victim was identified as Sarah Harmening.

The wreck, which also involved two cars, occurred on Camp Creek Parkway and Merk Road. Camp Creek Parkway was closed between Butner and Merk Road for much of Thursday due to the accident, but has since reopened.

Officials say the bus included a youth group from Mt Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, which is about 180 miles northwest of Atlanta. The group of high school juniors and seniors were headed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a mission trip to Botswana, according to a spokesperson with the church.

The church spokesperson added that 42 students and adults were on the bus, which landed on top of a car. The church was also using a second bus that was not involved in the accident.

Family members have since arrived in Atlanta to reach those students who were injured.

When CBS46 arrived at the scene, victims were seen on stretchers, and one person was trapped in the bus at the time. A spokesperson with the Fulton County Fire Department also told CBS46 a medical helicopter had to be flown to the scene, although it was never actually used.

Hospital updates

The crash victims were taken to various hospitals in metro Atlanta:

  • Wellstar Kennestone Hospital received three patients, with no conditions given.
  • Atlanta Medical Center’s downtown campus received six patients, with no conditions given.
  • Atlanta Medical Center’s south campus received 15 patients, with no conditions given.
  • Grady Memorial Hospital received nine patients with four critical, three fair and two in stable condition.
  • South Regional Medical Center received six patients, all expected to be released soon.

Community offering support

People across metro Atlanta are supporting to the crash victims and their family members by offering to provide emergency supplies, food and a place to stay. After hearing about the deadly accident, Pastor Barbara McKee and other volunteers with Lift Community Development jumped into action, gathering at the American Medical Response warehouse in College Park.

“We are just providing some family members with some needed items while they wait for their other relative to come in from Alabama. Water, soft drinks and pizza, just something to help them get through let them know this community care about them, that we love them and we are praying for them,” said McKee.

Several residents have offered to open their home to victims and their families and the Red Cross is providing emergency support and counseling.

Family speaks

A family member of friends of Harmening held a press conference late Thursday. Click here to watch the entire press conference.

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