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Family, friends petition for no charges in wreck that killed Dawson middle schooler
Girl’s father to be charged in fatal wreck ‘upon improvement of his medical condition’
student killed pic 3
Summer Faith Anderson, a seventh-grader at Dawson County Middle School, was killed in a head-on crash with a Hall County school bus Wednesday morning. Anderson's father, Lonnie, center, was driving the car when it, “struck standing water on the roadway and hydroplaned,” according to a Georgia State Patrol news release. - photo by For the Dawson County News

For a time, Summer Faith Anderson’s first concern after school was taking care of her ailing grandmother.

“Every day she got off that bus, she went over to see her (grandmother) and make sure her (grandmother) was OK. That was her main priority. She was loving. She was caring,” her aunt Connie Markevitch said.

Summer Faith Anderson, a seventh-grader at Dawson County Middle School, was killed in a Wednesday, May 16, wreck with a Hall County school bus on Thompson Bridge Road north of Murrayville.

Her father, Lonnie Anderson, 33, will be charged with failure to maintain lane and slick tires “upon the improvement of his medical condition,” Georgia State Patrol Assistant Post Commander Sgt. A.J. Allen wrote in an email Thursday, May 17. 

Lonnie Anderson may face a second-degree vehicular homicide charge, according to authorities. The Hall County Solicitor’s Office will make the decision on whether to pursue that charge.

Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard said Thursday she had not yet seen the case file.

“We do evaluate all of the factors, including condition of equipment, whether children are buckled in … when making both the charging decision and the plea decision,” she said.

The Andersons had recently moved to Hall County and were finishing out the year at their old schools, Summer’s uncle Mike Smith said.

Summer’s brother Zachary Anderson, 12, a Kilough Elementary School fifth-grader in the same car, was seriously injured and was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Smith described his niece as a “beautiful, spiritual, loving, wonderful girl.”

“She was very outgoing. She loved to dance. She loved to hang out with her friends and do things that most normal teenage girls do,” Smith said.

Smith said Lonnie Anderson had been upgraded from critical to stable condition, having suffered two broken femurs, a broken collarbone and injuries to his neck and brain.

Zachary had facial reconstructive surgery but had no broken bones, Smith said. He visited the 12-year-old at the hospital and remarked at how handsome he looked.

“You could see he could barely move his face, but he had a half smile on his face of knowing that his family is there and they care about him and they love him very much,” Smith said.

The wreck involved a Hall County school bus carrying 19 Mount Vernon Exploratory School students and bus driver Barbara Flowers, 65, of Gainesville, who were transported by another school bus to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville for precautionary examinations, Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins said.

Higgins said there were no reports of serious injuries to Hall students.

Three of the students had “very minor injuries,” according to a state patrol news release.

The family wanted to express that they were grateful no one on the bus was seriously injured, Smith said.

“We believe that the grace of God had a hand in certain situations. And while we did lose a beautiful angel, we are just blessed that no one else had to experience the loss of a child, a family friend or a brother or sister. It is something that is heartbreaking and is surreal,” Smith said.

The wreck happened at about 7:10 a.m. Wednesday in the 6000 block of Thompson Bridge Road, according to Hall County Fire Services.

Higgins said Bus No. 2105 and the other vehicle, a 1995 Ford Mustang, collided head-on.

Anderson was driving north on Thompson Bridge Road and the bus was traveling south, according to state patrol.

Anderson’s car “struck standing water on the roadway and hydroplaned,” the release says.

His vehicle then traveled into the southbound lane and hit the bus.

No alcohol or drugs were suspected in this crash, according to the state patrol.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, more than 5,000 people had signed an online petition demanding no charges for Lonnie Anderson. A GoFundMe page for the family had raised $5,795.

Gainesville Times news reporter Jeff Gill and reporter Jessica Brown contributed to this report.