Tragedy Strikes: Deadly Collision Involving School Bus and Semi Truck in Ohio

Harriet Alexander and Joe Hutchison report a devastating incident on an Ohio highway where a school bus and a semi-truck collided, resulting in six confirmed deaths and 18 injuries.

The tragic event unfolded on Interstate 70 West in Licking County, causing chaos and claiming the lives of three students and three adults.

Collision Details:

The collision, occurring shortly before 9 am, involved five vehicles, with a semi-truck rear-ending the school bus.

The impact led to a massive fire that engulfed the vehicles, leaving destruction in its wake. The deceased victims included students John W. Mosley, Jeffrey D. Worrell, and 15-year-old Katelyn Owens, along with adults Dave Kennat, Kristy Gaynor, and Shannon Wright.

Emergency Response and Injuries:

Images from the scene depict the school bus’s rear consumed by flames, emphasizing the severity of the collision.

Emergency services responded to the scene, with 18 reported injuries, mostly juveniles. Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools indicated the possibility of ‘serious injuries’ among the students.

Governor’s Response and Investigation:

Governor Mike DeWine expressed condolences and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff, calling the incident a community’s worst nightmare.

He acknowledged the gravity of a crash involving a bus full of children and assured a thorough investigation. The westbound highway remained closed as of Tuesday evening.

School Bus Purpose and Superintendent’s Statement:

The bus, carrying Tuscarawas Valley students and chaperones to an Ohio School Boards Association conference, became involved in the tragic accident.

Superintendent Derek Varansky shared updates on social media, emphasizing the focus on supporting affected families within the Tusky Valley community.

Eyewitness Accounts:

Witnesses described the catastrophic scene, with a witness noting a firefighter’s brave attempt to enter the burning bus before it exploded.

Chris McNeal, a trucker, labeled the wreck as ‘catastrophic,’ detailing the extensive damage to vehicles involved.

Bus Company’s Response:

The school bus involved belonged to Pioneer Trails, a family-owned company operating for 40 years. The company expressed full cooperation with authorities, pledging to determine the accident’s cause and sending prayers to the victims and their families.

Emergency Response and Blood Donation:

Emergency services, including the American Red Cross, responded swiftly to the tragedy. The Red Cross fulfilled a blood request for one hospital, dispatching 30 units to the Mount Carmel Health System. A center was established at a United Methodist Church for passengers not requiring medical attention to contact their loved ones.

Conclusion:

The Ohio school bus collision stands as a heartbreaking incident, claiming lives and leaving a community in shock. As investigations unfold, the focus shifts to supporting the affected families and understanding the circumstances leading to this tragic event.

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