17-Year-Old Atlanta Girl Killed in Student Ministry Bus Crash Headed to Africa

A teenager killed Thursday in a church bus crash just outside Atlanta has been identified by her family as Sarah Harmening from Huntsville, Alabama.

The 17-year-old and nearly 40 people from Huntsville’s Mount Zion Baptist Church were aboard a bus headed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Sarah’s mother Karen Harmening told reporters.

The group, mostly members of a student ministry mission, was traveling to the African nation of Botswana on a 10-day missionary trip, church spokesman Frank Rucker told CNN affiliate WAAY-TV.

“Our daughter Sarah was a gift to us,” Harmening said. “She loved the Lord with a love that was tangible.”

“She was so excited. She earned all the money to go and share Christ with the children of Botswana,” she said.

At least two dozen injured

A bus wreck occurred on Camp Creek Parkway and Merk Road on June 8, 2017. (Credit: WGCL)

Firefighters and medics rushed to assist the injured after the bus overturned and landed on a car around 4 p.m. on a Fulton County highway, officials said.

At least two dozen people were injured during the crash.

Most of the 15 people taken to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South in the suburban Atlanta city of East Point were reunited with their families Thursday. Their injuries included cuts, bruises and strains, officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information but hadn’t yet decided to launch a team.

“Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Churches around Atlanta have opened their homes to us and a Chick-fil-A branch has taken food. Our people are grateful for the outpouring of blessings and love. Please remember us in the weeks to come as we grieve and process this impact to our community. All of your prayers are greatly appreciated,” Mount Zion Baptist Church posted on Facebook.