A Georgia teen who lost her entire family in a Florida interstate crash now faces deportation. WXIA's Jon Shirek reports.
MARIETTA, Ga. -- A Georgia teen who lost her entire family in a Florida interstate crash that killed 11 now faces deportation to Brazil.
Lidiane Carmo, 15, a ninth-grader at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, was part of a group of 15 from her tiny Church of the Restoration in Marietta. They were returning home after a three-day religious conference in Orlando, Fla.
A mix of fog and smoke from a nearby brush fire made visibility difficult on six-lane Interstate 75 on Sunday when at least a dozen cars, six tractor trailers and a motorhome collided. Wreckage was so bad that it took more than two days to find the accident's 11th victim, who was in a pickup truck where two bodies were discovered earlier, officials said Wednesday.
Lidiane on Wednesday was in a Gainesville, Fla., hospital recovering from her injuries. Among those who perished in the crash were her father, Jose Carmo, a founding pastor of the church; her mother, Adriana; her 17-year-old sister; Leticia, her uncle, Edsom; and the uncle's girlfriend, Rose DaSilva.
The Carmo family moved to the U.S. from Brazil 12 years ago, NBC station WXIA reported. They were undocumented, WXIA said.
Relatives who want Lidiane to live with them in the U.S. fear she may be deported.
"I hope that she lives here with us," said Marcia Silvia, one of the crash survivors and a member of the church. "The church is her family, now. I hope that she stays here."
At a church meeting Tuesday night, Brazil's deputy consul general in Atlanta, Ana Rodrigues, offered the government's condolences, but could not promise any help or hope.
"Immigration issues are a matter of the American government," Rodrigues said.
And she was not able to say whether the Brazilian government would be able to consider the family's request for financial help to fly the bodies back to Marietta for the funerals, and to Brazil for the burials.
"I can't say yes or no, it's impossible, because I can't make this decision," she told the congregation.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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