South Fulton County

9 remain hospitalized day after deadly church bus crash

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County police are releasing new details in the church bus crash that killed one teen girl and injured nearly two dozen other people.

Investigators say it was a lane change mistake that caused the disastrous chain reaction.

Police said the bus was in lane 1 and attempted to change lanes over to lane 2 when it collided with a Chrysler that was already in lane 2.

The initial collision caused the bus driver to steer to the left abruptly causing him to lose control. The bus then entered the uneven median and rolled over.

The upside-down bus then slid into a Mercedes that was traveling in the westbound lanes.

Channel 2 Action News is hearing from family and friends of Sarah Harmening, the teen girl killed in a church bus accident.

The youth church group was traveling from Huntsville, Alabama to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Thursday when their bus flipped over in south Fulton County.

The parents of the 17-year-old gathered with supporters late Thursday at a south Fulton church, as they talked about the teen who had such a bright future ahead of her.

"Our daughter Sarah was a gift to us, that was given on December 20, 1999,” her parents said.

Sarah Harmening

The group planned to evangelize to other children in Botswana, Africa.

"And she loved the Lord with a love that was tangible," Harmening’s mother said. "It's what she lived and breathed for."

While the others remain in the hospital, prayers go out to Sarah’s family and friends as they deal with the unimaginable loss.

Sarah’s mother read her last journal entry on the bus and said it gives her comfort.

"That God has called me here and he has done this for a reason, so I know he's going to do incredible things,” her mother read.

A friend shared some of the final words Harmening texted about life and faith.

"This is such a great reminder; we are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and it's not about us, life is not about us, it's about God,” said Harmening’s friend Claire.

At Grady Memorial Hospital, Channel 2 Action News spoke with the family of one teen who suffered a head injury.

"'I was panicked at first because I didn't know what was going on and then I found out she was in trauma,” said Glenda Roberson.

Some of the people hurt in the crash are still listed in critical condition. On their Facebook page, Mt. Zion Baptist Church simply asked for prayers during what is of course a difficult time.