Student killed, multiple injured in Huntsville church bus crash in Atlanta


A bus from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville has crashed in Atlanta, Georgia.

Three vehicles were involved in the wreck on Camp Creek Parkway Thursday afternoon. The bus overturned onto at least one of them.

Fulton County police confirm one person has died. Officials confirm that person was a church member. Family members identified her as 17-year-old Sarah Harmening.

Police say there were 38 people on the bus. The church said it was carrying adults and high school students in grades 11 and 12. They were on a student mission trip to Botswana, Africa.

Police say at least 20 people were injured. Grady Memorial Hospital received nine of them. Four were in critical condition.

Atlanta Medical Center and Wellstar Kennestone Hospital also received patients.

The Fulton County Ambulance Service says to call 678-473-1234 to find loved ones. Hospitals can call to report discharges.

Families of the most critical patients were flown to Atlanta. Meanwhile, church members gathered at Mount Zion back home.

One of those church members is Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver. His wife and son were on the bus, but they were OK.

“I got a hold of my son about two minutes after the accident. Thank God he carries a phone in his pocket. He was just, he was just rather shook. Couldn’t get much information, but him and his mama were fine,” Vandiver said. “We just want to keep those other family members that have more serious injuries, want to keep those in our prayers and keep those remembered.”

Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon released the following statement:

The Huntsville community is coalescing around the Mount Zion Baptist Church family as transportation to Atlanta is being provided, blocks of hotels rooms are being booked, and local leaders are doing everything possible to aid and assist the relatives and friends of those affected. The Speaker’s Office stands ready to do everything in our power to assist this effort, and we will ensure that Gov. Kay Ivey remains updated on the situation.

On a very personal note, I would ask that everyone in Alabama join me in praying for our fellow citizens as the details and after effects of this tragic accident are being sorted out. Ask God to quickly heal those who are injured both physically and emotionally, to provide comfort to those who lost a loved one, and to bring peace to those who were traveling halfway across the globe to selflessly do His work in a foreign land. Let’s also remember the pastors, church leaders, and congregation of Mount Zion Baptist Church as they work to come to terms with this tragic accident.

Join me in sending thoughts and prayers to the Mount Zion Baptist Church family in the wake of this tragedy.

— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) June 8, 2017

Prayer warriors, please be in prayer for the Mount Zion Baptist Church team (11th – 12th graders) headed to the…

— MadisonBaptistAssoc (@MadBapAssoc) June 8, 2017

Please pray for our Sparkman community members and students on the Mt. Zion bus that crashed this afternoon in Atlanta. #SparkmanFamily

— SparkmanSenators (@SHSSenators) June 8, 2017

Our love, thoughts, and prayers to all of those involved in the Mt. Zion bus crash. You are in our hearts.

— Monrovia Middle (@monroviahawks) June 9, 2017

This afternoon, Mt. Zion’s student mission team was in an accident. Please take time and pray for those involved.

— capshawstudents (@capshawstudents) June 8, 2017

Please pray for the families of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL during this difficult time of tragedy.

— CBCS (@CBCougars) June 8, 2017

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