A tragedy on Ashville highway in Knoxville, Tennessee, has resulted in the death of two elementary school children and one adult. The double school bus crash that involved two Knox County Schools buses left three dead and 23 others injured.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch told the Associated Press that two elementary children were killed in the crash along with an adult. The adult who died was not a driver but an aide on the bus. WBIR reports that police have not released the names of the victims but said the students were all kindergarten through third graders. The two school buses that were involved in the crash were buses No. 44 and No. 57, which serve Chilhowee Intermediate School and Sunnyview Primary School.
Rausch said that the community has come together to support one another during this difficult time. During an interview, Rausch could be seen holding back tears as he asked everyone to “pray for the loss of lives” and that was a “horrible tragedy.”
“It’s a horrible tragedy — our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones today.”
Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre said that the accident was an “unspeakable tragedy” and grief counselors will be available for students the remainder of the week. Fox News reports that witnesses to the wreck immediately ran to help the children from the buses after the collision. One bus was found in the middle of the road with damage to the front, the second bus flipped and was laying on its side.
There was no immediate word on what caused the fatal crash or if road conditions may have played a part in the double bus crash. However, Shawn O’Neill, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, told Fox News that light rain had been falling throughout the day in the Knoxville area, and there was light fog and mist as well.
“There were some wet road conditions.”