ALMA, Ga. (AP) — A box truck crashed into the back of a school bus Wednesday afternoon that was stopped to unload students in rural Georgia, leaving the truck’s driver dead and at least eight students injured, authorities told local news outlets.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, the bus had stopped in the outside lane of highway U.S. 1 in Alma about 4 p.m. when the rental truck struck the back of the bus.
At least two helicopters were called to airlift injured students to area hospitals, Bacon County Emergency Management Agency Director Danny Turner told WSAV-TV. He said at least eight students were injured and taken to hospitals.
The condition of those students wasn’t immediately known later Wednesday,
Trooper Shane Copeland of the Georgia State Patrol said both drivers were initially able to help students out of the bus, but the truck driver later collapsed and died. The driver’s name was not immediately released, nor the name of the bus driver.
“Terrible news out of Alma,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted Wednesday night after being informed of the crash. He said his family was praying for the students involved and the family of the deceased driver.
A photograph published online by WSAV showed the yellow school bus with its back end and rear exit door caved in. The back bumper appeared badly mangled.
Alma is a community in southeastern Georgia, located about 70 miles (110 kilometers) west of the state’s Atlantic coast.
Phone messages and emails to the Georgia State Patrol seeking further details Wednesday evening weren’t immediately returned.