Bus Driver Pleads Guilty in Georgia Court for Crash that Killed Teenager
ATLANTA, GA. – A bus driver pleaded guilty January 18 in a Georgia court to charges of second-degree vehicular homicide in connection with a 2017 crash that killed an Alabama teenager, according to an online news story reported at al.com. The driver was taking a group of teens to the Atlanta, Georgia, airport for a church mission trip, when he crashed into another vehicle.*
On June 8, 2017, Jerry Sims was driving a bus full of members of the Mt. Zion Church in Huntsville, Alabama, to the airport in Atlanta. The group on the bus was to depart from Atlanta and fly to Africa for a youth mission trip. On Camp Creek Parkway in Atlanta, Sims changed lanes in the bus and crashed into a car.
Sims then attempted to drive into his previous lane, and he lost control. The bus traveled into the median of the road and flipped over, then hit another car. A total of 39 people were injured in the crash, including Sims. One of the teens on the bus, 17-year-old Sarah Harmening, died in the wreck.
Sims was charged with misdemeanor homicide by vehicle and improper lane change while he was still in the hospital. On January 18, in Fulton County Court, Sims pleaded guilty to the charges. A judge sentenced him to 24 months of probation and 120 hours of community service. He will not be allowed to operate a commercial vehicle, and he will have to attend classes on defensive driving.
Sims was also ordered to pay more than $1,300 in court fees and was prohibited from having contact with Harmening’s family.
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