A wreck on i70 in Ohio today caused both directions of Interstate 70 in Licking County to be closed after a bus was rammed by a semi-truck
This was after a “mass casualty incident” near the State Route 310 interchange.
Six people died and 15 were injured, Licking County Emergency Management Agency director Sean Grady told the Associated Press, after a bus carrying band students and chaperones from Tuscarawas Valley High School was rear-ended by a semi-truck on I-70 West, near the Smoke Road underpass.
The crash occurred shortly before 9 a.m. and involved a charter bus, two commercial vehicles, and two passenger vehicles, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
An initial investigation found that the vehicles were traveling westbound on I-70 when the chain reaction crash happened.
At least three of the vehicles also caught fire as a result of the crash.
Three of the passengers on the bus, identified as John W. Mosely, 18, Jeffery D. Worrell, 18, and Katelyn N. Owens, 15, were pronounced dead at the scene.
One of the passenger vehicles had three people inside, Dave Kennat, 56, Kristy Gaynor, 39, and Shannon Wigfield, 45, all three were also pronounced dead at the scene.
A total of 15 students and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals.
Around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, dozens of emergency personnel from across Licking County and eastern Franklin County were dispatched to the area on a report of a crash.
According to scanner traffic, a tractor-trailer hit a commercial bus carrying dozens of passengers.
Photographs from the scene show at least one other passenger vehicle that appears to have been involved in the crash but it was not immediately known how many vehicles were involved in the wreck on i 70 today.
Ohio Department of Transportation cameras from the area show smoke coming from the crash site.
Patients from the wreck were taken by squad to at least five local hospitals: Licking Memorial Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist hospital and Mount Carmel East hospital.
The incident has been classified as a “mass casualty incident, level 3,” which indicates 10 or more people may have been injured and there will be a need for paramedics, fire crews and hospital readiness across the region.
In an update, it was revealed the casualty count had risen to 6 with more injured.
The Tuscarawas Valley School District released the following statement:
“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. We will share news with you as we are able, including our plans for upcoming school days and events.
Right now, our focus is on getting in touch with our Tusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and providing support to our entire school community. Our Trojan family is strong, and it will take that strength and love to get throughout these coming challenging days.
Dr. Derek Varansky“
This is a developing story.
Pioneer Trails bus involved in wreck on i 70 today
The bus involved in the wreck on i 70 today appears to be from Pioneer Trails, a family-owned bus business based in Millersburg in Holmes County.
When asked by The Dispatch on Tuesday if a bus from the company was involved in the crash, an employee said it wasn’t their department and hung up on a reporter.
Pioneer trails bus is a Motorcoach Charters and Tours company in Ohio.
With more than 35 years of experience, Pioneer Trails is one of the most reliable companies around.
According to their website, “you can trust us with your transportation, as nothing is more important than keeping you safe and secure on the road,”
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