Church Bus Driver Charged in Fatal Crash

The driver of a church bus that crashed in Georgia last week is now facing criminal charges for his role in the accident.

Details of the Crash and Resulting Charges

FOX 5 Atlanta reports that Jerry Sims is still in the hospital but will facing charges of second degree homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain lane following his recovery.

Sims was behind the wheel of a church bus carrying roughly 40 church members of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama last Thursday when he attempted to change lanes and struck another vehicle. The bus then lost control and overturned on Camp Creek Parkway near Atlanta.

Sarah Harmening, 17, was killed in the crash and at least 39 others were injured.

The church members were bound for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport where they were to depart on a missionary retreat in Africa.

National Bus Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • 3,978 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents in 2014.
  • Transit buses accounted for 33 percent of all bus accident recorded between 2004 and 2014. Inner city buses accounted for 13 percent of bus accidents.
  • From 2009 to 2014, the number of injury related crashes involving buses and large trucks increased by 55 percent.


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