Officials say a passenger bus on I-40 crossed the median and crashed into a tractor trailer and car that were heading westbound.
Fiery crash involving an overturned passenger bus and a semi-truck (Photo: Heather Jeffers via WBIR)
Bus hits tractor-trailer and car after crossing median near I-81 split.
Jefferson County, TN (WBIR) -- A church bus from North Carolina was involved in an I-40 crash Wednesday afternoon killed at least eight people and injured several more, confirmed UT Medical Center.
A preliminary report from THP says eight people were killed. Six of those were passengers on the bus, one in the tractor trailer, and one in an SUV. They also say 14 people were injured. Four were transported by air to hospitals, eight were transported by ground to hospitals, and two were not transported.
THP says a passenger bus traveling eastbound on I-40 near mile marker 423 when its left front tire blew out. It crossed the median and crashed into a tractor trailer and clipped a Tahoe SUV that were heading westbound. They say the tractor trailer immediately caught fire and the bus overturned. The accident happened around 2 p.m.
The bus was from Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina. Dionne Stutts from the church confirmed the bus was on the way back from Fall Jubilee in Gatlinburg. She says the group on board is called "The Young at Heart" and they're mostly ages 55 and up. They have several church members on the way to the scene.
An EMS official told 10News 20 ambulances and 5 helicopters responded from multiple counties. UT Medical Center says they took in 14 patients from the scene, three of which were flown in by Lifestar.
Dispatchers confirmed Interstate 40 is closed in both directions at mile marker 423 in Jefferson County. They are diverting traffic and advising everyone to avoid the scene.
News 19 WLTX will continue to update this developing story.