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www.wmfd.com - A crash involving three vehicles, including a church bus and a tractor trailer, leaves at least eight people dead. }}" />

Eight Dead As Church Bus Crases Into Tractor-Trailer

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 10/3/2013A crash involving three vehicles, including a church bus and a tractor trailer, leaves at least eight people dead. Andrew Spencer reports the crash on Interstate 40 also injured more than a dozen people Wednesday, when the church bus apparently blew a tire. From the air, you can see all that remains of teh front of this tractor-trailer, covered in soot ad water after the fire that erupted when it collided with a church bus on I-40 in eastern Tennessee. The bus carried 18 people, mostly seniors from Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina, whose pastor spoke overnight. "We do know that there were several that went on to be with the Lord," said Reverend Rick Cruz. The Tennessee Highway Patrol believes the bus driver lost control. "The bus had a blow-out on one its tires," says Sgt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "We believe it to be the front steer axle, steering axle, there, and it caused the bus to lose control." The bus then crossed the median, breaking through cables and crashing into the tractor-trailer and an SUV. Almost immediately, witnesses flooded 911 dispatch with phone calls. "The first ambulances and fire apparatus were on scene in less than five minutes," says Brad Phillips, Director of Emergency Management for Jefferson County. The wuick response wasn't enough to save at least eight people. The driver of the tractor-trailer, six people riding the church bus, and one of three people inside the SUV, were all killed. "We hope and prat that there will be no more," says Sgt. Miller. Ambulances carried some of the injured to neaby hospitalsm while others were taken by helicopter. "Out of those 14, eight are being treated as critically injured individuals, and we also have two that are serious and four that are currently stable," says Sgt. Miller. Meanwhile, people in Statesville console each other, hope, and pray.
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