Police: Driver of Madison County church bus changed lanes, hit vehicle to cause deadly crash in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. - Fulton County Police say they have a preliminary cause for the church bus wreck that killed one, sent 40 others to the hospital, but later in the day said the investigation wasn't close to completion.

Fulton County Deputy Chief Darryl Halbert spoke during a press conference Friday afternoon.

"The release of possible charges and the cause of the accident won’t be released at this time," Halbert said.

Investigators say the driver of the bus from Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Madison County attempted to change lanes when it collided with a Chrysler already in the lane. They say the initial collision caused the bus driver to swerve abruptly where he lost control. The bus entered an uneven median causing a roll-over. While upside down, the bus slid into a Mercedes.

The driver, a church member, has not been identified.

"It is my understanding we have not interviewed him, it is also my understanding that he is still at the hospital," Halbert said. "Once we find out what his status is, medically, we’ll interview him to find out exactly what occurred."

One victim, who we now know was Sara Harmening, was pronounced dead on the scene. All others on the bus, which totaled 37, were injured and taken to area hospitals. The two occupants of the Mercedes and the one person inside the Chrysler were also taken to the hospital.

Two air ambulance helicopters responded to the scene, but neither was used.

Officers say the investigation is ongoing and charges in the case are pending.