A charter bus carrying students from a high school was rear-ended by a semitruck on an Ohio highway Tuesday, leaving three people dead and 15 others injured, according to an emergency official.
The charter bus was transporting students from a school in eastern Ohio, Licking County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Grady said. There were a total of 57 people onboard, he said. Students from Tuscarawas Valley were traveling with chaperones to the Ohio School Boards Association conference, which was being held about 100 miles west in Columbus, according to Derek Varansky, the superintendent of the Tuscarawas Valley School District.
“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,” wrote Varansky in a letter shared on social media Tuesday morning and addressed to the school community.
The accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. on Interstate 70 West in Licking County, near the Smoke Road underpass. The cause was not immediately known.
The injured were being treated at five hospitals.
Numerous emergency responders were at the scene, and Ohio Department of Transportation cameras from the area showed smoke coming from the crash site. The highway was closed in both directions and numerous traffic delays were being reported.
Mickey Lymon, an investigator with the Licking County Coroner’s Office, said they had been called to the scene, but deferred other questions to the state police.
Rep. Troy Balderson, of Ohio, responded to the accident Tuesday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“I am devastated to hear about the terrible crash on I-70 involving a semitruck and a bus carrying students. My prayers are with all those involved, and I will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Balderson wrote.
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