More news has emerged regarding the fatal Mt. Zion Baptist Church bus accident near Atlanta earlier this month, which killed a 17-year-old girl and injured 39 more people. The group was headed to a mission trip in Africa when the crash occurred. The new reports explain in more detail the circumstances leading up to the deadly crash.
The report alleges that 71-year-old Jerry Sims, the bus driver, struck a 2017 Chrysler 200 during an improper lane change. The driver of the Chrysler saw the bus coming but was unable to avoid it. Her car was forced off the road into a drainage ditch and some trees. After the collision, Sims attempted to swerve back into his original lane, but lost control of the bus. The church bus traveled 163 feet through grass and on concrete before flipping. Once flipped, it slid 136 feet on its roof before crashing into a 1997 Mercedes Benz.
The driver of the bus remains hospitalized and has been charged with misdemeanor second-degree homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain lane.
Bus drivers carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Buses are large vehicles that can transport a lot of people, meaning that accidents involving buses have the potential to be devastating. Bus drivers have a duty of care to passengers to act in a way that reasonably provides for the passengers’ safety. When a driver commits an act of negligence that leads to injuries or wrongful death, the victims are able to seek damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses or more from the negligent party.