HALL COUNTY, GA -- A 13-year-old girl was killed in a wreck involving a school bus and a car in Hall County, Wednesday morning.
According to Hall County officials, a Ford Mustang crashed head-on into a school bus near the intersection of Thompson Bridge Road and Yellow Creek Road. The Georgia Department of Transportation says there were nearly 20 people on the bus including the children and the bus driver.
All students and including the driver of the school bus were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for evaluation as a precaution. That's the moment when staff at the hospital received a call of an "all hands on deck" situation and members of its trauma team began preparing.
"It is rare that we go into a disaster mode like that," Barry Cape said. "We do have multiple traumas come in, but when you get in the 20s, that is a lot for the hospital, so usually you have to mobilize."
Ultimately, three students on the bus had minor injuries but each student was checked individually by doctors.
A Hall County School System spokesman said that before first responders even arrived, the school's bus driver began checking on each student trying to calm them down. From there, two drivers stopped to help.
"She said one was a Lumpkin County School teacher on her way to work," spokesperson Gordon Higgins said. "The other was just a woman who saw it and said what can I do to help. She said they were wonderful in helping her calm the students."
Dawson County Schools Superintendent Damon Gibbs said 13-year-old Summer Faith Anderson has been identified as the teen who was killed in the early morning wreck.
A Kilough Elementary School fifth-grader, identified as 12-year-old Zachary Anderson, was also present in the Mustang and suffered serious injuries and was transported to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
According to Georgia State Patrol, the driver of the Mustang was Lonnie Anderson, 33. While traveling north on Georgia Route 60, Anderson hit a patch of water and hydroplaned. The Mustang then went into the southbound lanes on Route 60 and hit the school bus head-on.
Anderson also suffered serious injuries.
For Hall County School System officials, the fact that their students walked away isn't something they're taking for granted.
"Fortunately, we were blessed to have no serious injuries, there were serious injuries to people in the other vehicle and our thoughts and prayers go out to that family. Because I know, for them, this is a very trying time," Higgins said.