Eight persons are reported dead at this time as a result of a Wednesday (10/2/2013) afternoon crash of a church bus, an18-wheeler and SUV. The deadly wreck occurred on I-40 near Jefferson City, Tennessee.
Dalya Qualls of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WGNS News that around 1:00 o'clock (Murfreesboro time), a bus from the Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina was returning home after a Jubilee gathering of senior citizens in Gatlinburg.
Eight persons are listed as deceased at mile marker 432 in Jefferson County. Six of the fatalities were senior citizens on the church bus, the driver of the tractor-trailer truck and one person in the SUV.
BULLETIN: Red Cross Assisting Families
The American Red Cross has provided a contact number for individuals who may have had loved ones involved in Wednesday's bus crash in Jefferson County, Tennessee. Those individuals can contact 865-305-5716 for more information.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol's accident report indicates that the church bus was taveling eastbound on I-40 when the left front tire blew. The bus traveled across the median, clipped a Chevrolet Tahoe and then slammed into an 18-wheeler, both going in the opposite direction. The bus overturned and the big rig burst into flames.
In addition to the 8 fatalities, 4 victims have been taken by air ambulance to the hospital in Knoxville, while 8 were transported by ambulance. Amazingly, two persons were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Initial reports from the Highway Patrol shows there were 18 occupants on the church bus, three in the SUV and one person in the tractor trailer.