Barbara Berenick/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK
A deadly five-vehicle crash Tuesday morning on Interstate 70 near Columbus, Ohio.
At least three people died when a bus carrying students crashed Tuesday morning on Interstate 70 in Edna, Ohio, Licking County Emergency Management Deputy Director John Wieber said.
“I would say it’s our worst nightmare when a bus full of kids is involved in an accident, it’s the worst nightmare families can endure,” Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters.
State Highway Patrol Lt. Nathan Dennis said the fire broke out on the westbound interstate at 8:52 a.m. Five vehicles were involved and 18 people were taken to local hospitals. According to the State Highway Patrol, a commercial tractor-trailer collided with the coach bus.
Before Divine Police declined to comment on the death toll, saying they were in the process of notifying families.
Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools Superintendent Derek Weransky wrote on the district’s website, “A charter bus carrying Tusky Valley students and chaperones was involved in a very serious accident on their way to an Ohio School Board Association conference in Columbus.”
“We understand from law enforcement that there may be multiple serious injuries and we are working to learn more details,” Weranski wrote. “We will share news with you as best we can, including our plans for upcoming school days and events. Right now, our focus is on reaching out to our Dusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and supporting our entire school community. Our Trojan family is strong, and it will take that strength and love to get through these challenging days.
DeWine said the students who were involved in the crash were reunited with their parents at the reunification center. He said flags will fly at half-staff at the state capital and Tuscarawas County government buildings.
“This tragedy is justifiable, it is very difficult to describe,” the governor said. “On behalf of the people of the state of Ohio, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families, to all those who have been injured, to all those whose family members have died. This is an unimaginable tragedy.
The Ohio School Boards Association said on Facebook: “Today, a charter bus carrying Tuscarawas Valley local school students and chaperones on their way to the annual OSBA Capital Conference and Trade Show was involved in a fatal accident. Please join us in praying for the entire Tuscarawas Valley family.
Devine said the investigation into the cause of the crash will take some time. He described the students as coming from a small school in a tight rural area of the district.
Dennis said a crash reconstruction team from the Highway Patrol was on scene to “break down what caused the crash in terms of which vehicle hit which vehicle and what the sequence of events was.”
Two months ago, two longtime teachers were killed Several students were injured when their charter bus overturned in a 50-foot ravine on Interstate 84. Authorities in Orange County, New York said.
Initial reports suggest that the September 21 accident may have involved a defective front tire.
New York State Police said 40 students and four adults from Farmingdale High School on Long Island were on the bus. The students, who were part of the school’s marching band, were traveling to Pennsylvania for a band camp event.
CNN’s David J. Lopez contributed to this report.