GSP: Weather, medical emergency not responsible for fatal bus crash in Liberty County

5-year-old girl killed, several students taken to hospital after school bus crash in Liberty County, GA
Posted at 3:20 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 10:25:07-05

LIBERTY CO., GA (WTOC) - One child was killed and several were injured in a crash Tuesday morning involving a school bus on Ray Road at West Highway 196 in the Gum Branch area of Liberty County, GA.

Over 20 people on the bus were taken to area hospitals, including the driver. Officials have confirmed that 5-year-old Cambria Shuman has died. 

The bus was headed to Taylor's Creek Elementary School. 

It took fire crews over an hour to extricate the driver, 62-year-old Evelyn Rodriquez, from the bus. She was transported to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah. Rodriquez has been driving with the school system for seven years. 

Multiple agencies from different counties responded.

According to Liberty County EMA Deputy Director Larry Logan, the school bus was traveling on Ray Road headed towards Hwy 196 W when it went off the road and into the ditch.

Georgia State Patrol says the bus went off the road and struck a tree. GSP says the video from inside the bus does not appear to show the driver under the influence, having a medical issue or having to swerve to avoid another vehicle or animal. They also stated they do not believe the early morning fog had any impact on the incident. 

They think, at this time, it was a bus issue. Reportedly the bus driver can be seen on video trying to shift gears. 

The crash is still under investigation. 

The Liberty County School System released the following statement Tuesday:

This morning a Liberty County school bus was involved in a single vehicle accident, which resulted in one student fatality. Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family in their time of grief. The remaining students and driver were transported to local hospitals. Grief counselors have been made available to all students and staff. The bus accident is currently under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol.

The Liberty County School System asks the community to join them in continued thoughts, prayers and support for all individuals affected by today’s accident.

WTOC is at the scene working to find out more and provide updates.

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