DJJ Vigilance: South Fulton Bus Crash
Article photographs taken by Danielle Batie
If true heroes are those individuals who risk their lives to protect our world and make it a better place, it can then be said that the Department of Juvenile Justice is full of heroes who make the extraordinary routine each and every day. Many times people who are not overly familiar with DJJ do not understand that heroism is ingrained in the character of our staff and can manifest itself both inside and outside of the department’s walls.
For Investigator Danielle Batie, even a simple driving trip home from the Atlanta Youth Development Campus tested her mettle and fortitude; Danielle Batie was the first person to come across a devastating bus crash that had just taken place on Camp Creek Parkway in south Fulton County.
While the results of the crash were extraordinary, the details leading up to Investigator Batie’s involvement were simply a matter of routine. Driving home on Camp Creek Parkway near Merk Road, Batie came across a church bus that had flipped over after colliding with a car already in the lane.
Surprised and thinking to herself that the scene reminded her of a movie set, Batie nevertheless quickly composed herself and jumped into action to help. Standing in front of the bus, Batie activated her emergency flashers and used her vehicle to block traffic. With the help of an off-duty firefighter, Batie helped to pull 10-15 people out of the bus to safety. After doing so, Batie began providing water to the victims until the first-responders made it to the crash scene.
The bus that was involved in the crash was transporting a crew of high school students and chaperones from Mt. Zion Church in Huntsville to the airport for a mission trip to Africa. The crash killed one of the teenage passengers and sent dozens more to the hospital.
Batie directly helped many of the wounded at the crash scene. Whether consoling victims of shock or calling the families of the wounded to let them know that their loved ones were safe, she was not going to leave until all involved were safe and secure and transported to local area hospitals.
DJJ salutes Investigator Danielle Batie for her compassion and dedication to her community.