Student, 15, killed in Georgia school bus crash; others hurt

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VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A student has died after a crash involving a school bus and a semitrailer that also injured more than a dozen students on a south Georgia interstate, authorities said.

Rebecca Hall, 15, of Valdosta died after the crash Monday afternoon in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Valdosta, Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Chris Kelch said in a statement Tuesday.

The semitrailer was carrying a large load of metal beams when the trailer and the beams collided with the rear driver's side of the school bus, which had about 30 students on board, Kelch said.

More than a dozen of the students were taken in ambulances to South Georgia Medical Center, the State Patrol said. Another six students were taken to the hospital in private vehicles, authorities said. The children's conditions were not immediately known.

The semi driver, Michael Scarpaci, 58, of Lockport, Illinois, was not hurt, Kelch said.

The bus driver, Aline Thomas of Valdosta, 62, sustained a leg injury and was taken to the hospital.

The cause of the collision remained under investigation Tuesday, the State Patrol said.

The bus was taking students from Lowndes High School to Lowndes Middle School when the wreck happened, Lowndes County Schools said in a statement.

"We are asking our community for prayers and support for everyone involved in the accident," Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Wes Taylor said in the statement.

Valdosta, in far south Georgia, is about 15 miles from the Florida line.

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