5-year-old killed in school bus crash in South Georgia

A 5-year-old girl has died in a school bus crash that also injured several others Tuesday in South Georgia.

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The Georgia State Patrol responded to the single-vehicle crash about 7:15 a.m. at Ga. 196 and Ray Road in Liberty County, according to the agency.

A Liberty County school bus was traveling east on Ray Road when the driver lost control, ran off the road and went into a ditch, hitting a tree, the GSP said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Upon impact, the roof of the bus caved in on the occupants,” the GSP said.

There were 22 children on the bus with multiple injuries. They were taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center and Winn Army Community Hospital, the GSP said.

Bus driver Evelyn Rodriguez, 62, of Hinesville, was trapped in the crash and later freed. She was taken to Memorial Health in Savannah.

The child killed in the accident was a student in the Liberty County School System, according to the district.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the student's family in their time of grief," Chief Academic Officer Patti Crane said in a statement to the AJC.

The school system is asking the community to keep those affected by the child’s death in their thoughts and prayers.

Grief counselors are on hand for students and staff, the district reported.

The crash area, about 50 miles southwest of Savannah, is about 235 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Just before Thanksgiving last year, six children were killed in a school bus crash in Chattanooga.

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