A semitruck hit a charter bus full of high school students on an Ohio highway this November 14th. This tragic accident resulted in six fatalities and left at least 18 people injured, officials reported.
The bus, carrying students from an eastern Ohio school, was part of a 57-person group, including chaperones, heading to a conference in Columbus, about 100 miles away. This group, from Tuscarawas Valley, was attending the Ohio School Boards Association conference, shared Derek Varansky, superintendent of Tuscarawas Valley School District.
The crash happened just before 9 a.m. on Interstate 70 West in Licking County, close to the Smoke Road underpass. The exact cause is still unclear. The Ohio State Patrol mentioned in a statement that the crash involved the bus, two trucks, and two other vehicles, with at least three catching fire.
Tragically, three students died on the spot, the state patrol confirmed. They were John W. Mosely, Jeffery D. Worrell, both 18, and 15-year-old Katelyn N. Owens.
“I have devastating and heartbreaking news to report. Today, a charter bus carrying Tusky Valley students and chaperones on the way to the Ohio School Boards Association conference in Columbus was involved in a very serious accident. We understand from law enforcement that there may be multiple serious injuries and we are working to learn the details,” Varansky wrote in a note he posted online Tuesday morning for our school family.
The highway patrol also said that three adults in one of the cars involved passed away right there at the accident site. They were Dave Kennat, who was 56, Kristy Gaynor, 39, and Shannon Wigfield, 45 years old.
State patrol says that at least 18 people got hurt and are now in nearby hospitals. This includes 15 students and the bus driver, plus two other drivers.
The person driving one of the big trucks got hurt, but they’ll be okay. Another driver, though, is in the hospital and we’re not sure how they’re doing, the highway patrol tells us.
Lots of emergency teams rushed to the place where it happened. Cameras from the Ohio Department of Transportation showed smoke coming from where the crash was. They had to close the highway both ways, and there’s a lot of traffic backed up because of it.
Mickey Lymon, who works with the Licking County Coroner’s Office, mentioned they went to where the accident happened. But for more details, he said we should ask the state police.
The NTSB is also getting involved. They’re sending a group over to check out what happened for safety reasons. This team, led by NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy, plans to get there by Tuesday night.
Rep. Troy Balderson from Ohio talked about the crash on X, which used to be Twitter. He said, “Hearing about the awful accident on I-70 with the truck and student bus really upsets me. I’m praying for everyone there, and I’ll keep an eye on what’s happening,” that’s what Balderson shared.
Ohio’s Governor, Mike DeWine, also sent his prayers to everyone in the crash.
He shared on X, “It is our worst nightmare to have a bus full of children involved in such a terrible crash, and it is certainly the worst nightmare that families and schools can endure.”
Governor DeWine has said that flags should be at half-staff in the county and at the Ohio Statehouse to show respect.
By Tuesday night, they had opened up the highway going east again, but the westbound side was still closed.