At least three dead in Tennessee crash between school buses: reports – Chicago Tribune

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Three people died, including two young children, and almost two dozen were injured in a crash on Tuesday in Knoxville, Tennessee, involving two school buses, police said.

The crash happened on Asheville Highway just before 3 p.m., said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch, in a news conference broadcast by WATE television.

“It’s a horrible tragedy,” said Rausch, who appeared to hold back tears. “Our hearts go out to these families who have lost loved ones today… We ask the community to pray for the loss of life.”

One bus had its front-end badly damaged, while the other appeared to have been broadsided, and was lying on its side.

The children involved were from kindergarten to third grade. The deceased adult was a teachers’ aide, Rausch said.

Twenty children were brought to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, all with non-life threatening injuries, said spokeswoman Erica Estep.

Three people are at University of Tennessee Medical Center, said hospital spokesman Jim Ragonese. Rausch said their injuries ranged from minor to severe, and they were stable.

The accident is being investigated.

Knox County Schools Superintendent James McIntyre, who was also tearful, called the crash “an unspeakable tragedy.”

“We lost some of our Knox County Schools family, some of our youngest children,” McIntyre told reporters.

The buses served Chilhowee Intermediate School and Sunnyview Primary School in the eastern Tennessee city. McIntyre said there was no decision yet on whether the schools would be open on Wednesday.

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