COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus police continue to investigate what caused a truck to go off-road and tumble down into a ravine, killing two children.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says two adults and eight children were in a Chevy Blazer when the accident happened earlier Saturday afternoon.
Bryan says they were going east on Victory Drive to come up I-185 North, but then the vehicle tilted, tumbled several times down a hill, and landed in a ravine. Twelve-year-old Jose Manuel Taperia and 6-year-old Juliana Camaja Taperia were pronounced dead shortly after 2:15 p.m. Bryan says they died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
Authorities say there were two or three more crash victims. They are currently in critical condition at Midtown Medical Center.
News 3 spoke exclusively with the father of one of the children who died in the crash. Antonio Perez says he’s seeking divine intervention to get him and his family through a tragic situation.
“It was a huge tragedy,” Perez says in Spanish. “I was praying to God, hoping to overcome the situation.”
Police arrested 32-year-old Francisca Taperia-Santiago on a number of charges including reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, child restraint, and unsafe tires among others. She is due in Recorder’s Court Monday at 9 a.m.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says Taperia was the mother of 6-year-old Juliana.