HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A Dawson County middle school student was killed in a crash involving a car and a school bus from Hall County, Dawson County Superintendent Damon Dibbs confirmed.
The student who died was identified as Summer Anderson, 13, according to a spokesperson with Georgia State Patrol.
Summer was a passenger in the car, which hydroplaned and collided head-on with a school bus at Thompson Bridge and Stowers roads near the county line, investigators say.
The car's driver and another Dawson County student were taken to a hospital. They have been identified as Lonnie Anderson, 33, and Zachary Anderson, 12.
The Hall County school bus was carrying 19 students from Mount Vernon Elementary School, said Gordon Higgins, Hall County Schools public information officer.
Dr. Mohak Dave, the emergency room director at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, said the hospital went into level one disaster response.
"It started off 20 nurses plus techs on the shift, and we mobilized our internal disaster plan so we were ready for (a) mass casualties situation," Dave said. "We activated everyone. We had about 55 to 60 people."
Dave said the 19 students on the bus were not critically injured.
"Some required X-rays, but those patients' parents did come to the emergency department," Dave said.
Zachary Anderson and Lonnie Anderson were last reported in serious condition.
Higgins told Channel 2 Action News that two witnesses to the accident helped the bus driver, Barbara Flowers, 65, and the students. All victims in the accident were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
"She (the bus driver) said those two women were wonderful, and working with the children she said they were like angels," Higgins said.
The principal of the middle school said students and staff are devastated by the seventh-grader's death. The school has eight grief counselors at school to talk one-on-one with students and staff. The counselors will be at the school through the end of the week.
Many students also opted to go home to be close to loved ones.
The school's Facebook page said: "Please keep the staff and students in your thoughts as we all adjust to classes that now have an empty desk that just yesterday held a beautiful girl with a big smile."
The family of 13-year-old Summer Anderson released the following statement:
"We are torn and truly relying on God after the death of our beloved Summer. We ask that everyone continues to keep our family in your prayers.
Zach went into surgery yesterday and had facial reconstruction accomplished by a plastic surgeon. His surgery went well and he is alert and recovering rapidly with no broken bones or other serious medical conditions.
Lonnie is still sedated very heavily under doctor care and has undergone surgeries to help repair a broken shoulder and shattered pelvis. He suffered two broken femurs a shattered pelvis and a broken shoulder. Lonnie has some small bleeding on the brain, but doctors are expecting a full recovery.
The family is asking for your donations to help pay for medical expenses and funeral cost for our beloved Summer.
We have opened a Gofundme page to help our family members.
Please keep our family in your prayers."
If you'd like to donate, click here.
Cox Media Group