SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga, — At least one person died and nearly two dozen others were injured in a crash involving a church bus and two cars in south Fulton County.
Officers said the bus overturned and landed on one of the cars on Camp Creek Parkway at Merk Road around 4 p.m. Thursday.
From NewsChopper 2, you could see dozens of emergency responders at the scene.
The bus from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, was carrying a church youth group to Hartfield-Jackson International Airport to catch a flight for a mission trip to Africa.
The church posted on its Facebook page about the crash.
"PRAY! One of the buses with the student ministry mission had an accident on the way to the Atlanta airport. Several serious injuries. Please pray for those injured and parents as they travel to Atlanta," the post said.
Fulton County police described what they called a horrific scene.
"There were 38 total people on the bus, 10 walking-wounded, one deceased and two people were transported," said Cpl. Patrina Smith with the Fulton County Police Department.
At least 21 people were injured in the crash. Grady Memorial Hospital received nine patients -- four critical, three fair and two stable. Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta Medical Center South and Southern Regional Medical Center also received injured patients. One person died in the crash.
WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama said members of the church told them the victim who died was a teen girl riding the bus. Officials at the church told WAAY-TV that the church will remain open for the next 24 hours for people to come in and pay their respects. Approximately 2,000 members attend the church.
Channel 2’s Carl Willis spoke with some relatives of the victims outside Grady Memorial Hospital Thursday evening.
Glenda and Lance Roberson said their niece received a head injury and was among the nine victims immediately taken to local emergency rooms.
"I was panicked at first because I didn't know what was going on, and then I found out she was in trauma," Glenda Roberson told Willis.
"We know things happen for a reason, so we try to find the good. And there's going to be some good out of this," husband Lance Roberson said. "It's in his (God’s) hands now."
Families said they are relying on faith to get them through this, a tragedy that even gave pause to seasoned emergency responders.
“Life changes so rapidly on us, you know? One moment, things are fine. The next moment you're dealing with things like this. It's just tough,” Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few said.
"We just hope that everyone recovers and we'll get through this together," Glenda Roberson said.
Fulton County officials are asking parents of those involved in the crash who need information to contact Chris Hunter with American Medical Response. The number is 404-308-2299. AMR will provide family reunification information at its offices at 3505 Naturally Fresh Blvd.
The NTSB was called to the scene to investigate the crash.
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