KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two buses bringing children home from school collided on a Tennessee highway Tuesday afternoon, killing two students and an adult and injuring another 23 people.
Police did not immediately say what caused the crash that sent one of the buses onto its side. The children killed were in third grade or younger, said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch. The adult who died was an aide.
Three seriously injured people were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and were in stable condition, Rausch said.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Erica Estep said another 20 children were being treated there for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Rausch said 18 of the 20 had been on a bus going home from Sunnyview Primary School, which serves kindergarten through second grade. He described their injuries as “bumps and scrapes.” They were taken to the hospital on a city bus “to be checked out,” he said.
The other bus involved in the crash was from Chilhowee Intermediate School, which serves third through fifth grade. Rausch said some children from that bus were taken by their families to the children’s hospital.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre fought back tears at a news conference, saying, “This is an unspeakable tragedy. This is what we work every day to try to prevent.”