A fifteen year old student has died after a truck vs. school bus crash in southern Georgia yesterday.
— Noelani Mathews (@NoelaniWCTV) August 29, 2016
Semi Collides With School Bus On I-75
The crash happened in the southbound lanes of of I-75 in Valdosta yesterday afternoon. A truck hauling steel beams driven by 58 year old Illinois-based trucker Michael Scarpaci somehow collided with the rear driver’s side of a school bus transporting 30 students. The metal beams tore a hole in the rear end of the school bus.
One Dead, At Least 13 Hurt In Crash
Fifteen year old Rebecca Hall died as a result of the crash. At least thirteen other students were injured and transported to the hospital for treatment. The bus driver was also injured in the crash. Scarpaci wasn’t hurt.
Police are awaiting the results of toxicology reports from both Scarpaci and the bus driver, but they do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were a factor.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time.
On Video: Trucker Apologizes, Says He Drifted
In video footage recorded moments after the crash, you can see students and Good Samaritans working to try to rescue crash victims from the bus. Close to the end of the video, Scarpaci appears. He apologizes to the students and one of the students can be heard saying “I seen you were trying to come up the ramp and nobody would get over.”
In response Scarpaci says something unintelligible, then says, “I drifted. … I tried to catch what was falling down and I looked up and drifted.”
It is unclear whether Scarpaci knew that he was being filmed or exactly what his statements meant.