A devastating collision unfolded on Interstate 70 in Licking County on Tuesday, as a semi-truck rear-ended a charter bus carrying students from a local high school. The incident, which occurred shortly before 9 a.m., has left three people dead and 15 others injured, according to a statement from Licking County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Grady.
The charter bus was en route to its destination, transporting students from Tuscarawas Valley, Grady confirmed. There were 57 people aboard the bus.
Tuscarawas Valley Schools acknowledged the involvement of their students in the tragic accident. As of now, it remains unclear if any students are counted among the fatalities. The collision site is reported to be near the Smoke Road underpass in Licking County.
The cause of the collision has not been immediately discerned, and investigators are on the scene to determine the circumstances leading to the tragic incident.
Emergency responders have been diligently working at the crash site, with smoke visible in images captured by Ohio Department of Transportation cameras. In response to the emergency, the affected section of Interstate 70 has been closed in both directions, leading to numerous traffic delays throughout the area.
The injured victims are currently receiving medical attention at five different hospitals. Meanwhile, the Licking County Coroner’s Office, represented by investigator Mickey Lymon, has been summoned to the scene. However, Lymon deferred additional inquiries to state police, who are actively involved in the ongoing investigation.
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. We will share news with you as we are able, including our plans for upcoming school days and events.
Right now, our focus is on getting in touch with our Tusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and providing support to our entire school community. Our Trojan family is strong, and it will take that strength and love to get throughout these coming challenging days.Tuscarawas Valley School District Statement