13-year-old being called a hero after fatal South Georgia crash involving school bus

Georgia State Patrol says 10 students where on a school bus in Alma, Ga. Wednesday, August 12, 2020, when a box truck rear-ended it.
Georgia State Patrol says 10 students where on a school bus in Alma, Ga. Wednesday, August 12, 2020, when a box truck rear-ended it.(Source: WTOC)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:30 AM CDT
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ALMA, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia State Patrol says 10 students where on a school bus Wednesday when a box truck rear-ended it.

Six kids were injured in the bus and the driver of a moving truck died.

Georgia State Patrol said six kids were taken to the hospital along with the bus driver with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the truck that hit them died at the hospital, but students on Thursday say he got on the bus after the wreck to help them until he collapsed from his injuries.

One father and daughter run a social media news page and went to the crash site. They say it was scary at first but those emotions quickly turned to prayer on their social media pages for all those involved.

“It was very difficult to see because me being in high school just seeing that it was a school bus involved and knowing that children were involved it was very scary and honestly it hit really hard,” said Akemi Everett, with Unedited Real Talk Right Now.

“It was inspirational on a whole other level to know that that many people were willing to set aside what they were doing at that time of day to say a prayer to God no matter what faith they believed in, they set their differences aside,” said Earl Chadwick, with Unedited Real Talk Right Now.

The father daughter duo say they will continue to pray for the families impacted by the accident.

Families in Bacon County are counting their blessings.

Esmerelda Hernandez says Thursday is better than Wednesday. Her grandkids were half of the total students on the bus.

She was waiting for them at home when she got a call from her grandson on the bus about the accident.

“He called me and said grandma, and I said you need to calm down cause I thought somebody was hitting him or you know something else not the worst, but when he said we got hit in a crash my whole world went down and I just didn’t know what to do,” said Hernandez.

Esmerelda’s five grandkids were on the bus. She was relieved they would all be okay, but four needed to be treated at the hospital. Two of them, a 10 and 15-year-old remain hospitalized in Jacksonville for several broken bones including to their faces.

Molly is their cousin and was near the back of the bus. She needed several stitches to her mouth after the accident, making it difficult to talk. She says the accident left her scared and unsure.

“I’m kind of in shock like I don’t know,” said 6th grader Molly Hernandez.

The Hernandez family is close and says they are grateful to all be okay. Esmerelda say the community has been a huge support to their family from the school, to nurses, emergency personnel and more.

She also says they have no hard feelings for the driver who hit the bus and grieved his loss after learning he tried to help. After the terrifying past 24 hours she has a message for other families.

“I just want to say parents that’s why when your kids are, you have them tell them you love them everyday wherever they go you know tell them and sit down and talk to them, hear them, have communication but they have to tell you and tell them you love them because you might have them right there then another day you won’t see them.”

The Hernadez family says they truly are fortunate and thank the entire bacon county community here for their support.

We spoke to Hernandez’s 13-year-old grandson who was on the bus. He said he has some scrapes and bruises but is fine.

From the moment the accident happened, Fabian Hernandez was never worried about himself.

He said he was sitting in the second the last row when he got up to throw away some paper.

That’s when he felt a crash.

“I was throwing the piece of paper away when I felt, I felt the impact of the trailer hit the bus and then that’s when I went black and then I seen when I got up, I seen we were in the ditch with the bus and I turned around and I seen everybody was hurt and they were all like shocked,” said Fabian.

He made sure 911 was called, contacted his family and then started helping.

Fabian says he saw the driver that hit the bus come to help until his injuries wouldn’t allow it any longer.

This 13-year-old is now being called a hero by his community for his quick action in the crisis.

“I just wanted to help people because that’s what my grandma taught me to do and my grandparents taught me to do so I pretty much had to do what I had to do,” said Fabian.

“I want to say that I love you and that I am proud of you and always stick your head up for what you do because you have a great heart,” Esmerelda Hernandez.

Fabian’s two sisters are hospitalized from their injuries in the crash along with his friend.

While he did so much to help others, now he is asking for the communities help to pray for their recovery.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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