6 dead, including 3 teens, in fiery Ohio charter school bus crash


Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine ordered flags flown at half staff following a crash on Interstate 70 that killed six people, including three teenagers Tuesday. rlw/Roger L. Wollenberg UPI
Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine ordered flags flown at half staff following a crash on Interstate 70 that killed six people, including three teenagers Tuesday. rlw/Roger L. Wollenberg UPI | License Photo

Nov. 14 (UPI) — Six people are dead, including three teenagers, following a fiery crash Tuesday in Ohio, involving a charter school bus, a tractor-trailer, a commercial vehicle, and two passenger vehicles.

The charter bus, carrying 54 students, chaperones and a driver from Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools in Zoarville, was about 130 miles northeast of Columbus when the wreck happened on a 4-lane, divided stretch of Interstate 70.

The vehicles were all traveling westbound on the interstate just before 9 a.m. when the tractor-trailer, which had caught fire, hit the bus from behind, according to the Highway Patrol. That caused a chain-reaction collision which resulted in three vehicles catching fire.

The students killed were identified as John W. Mosely, 18, and Katelyn N. Owens, 15, both of Mineral City; and Jeffery D. Worrell, 18, of Bolivar. The other three people killed were a teacher and two additional chaperones who were with students in one of the two passenger vehicles involved in the crash. They were identified as Dave Kennat, 56, of Navarre; Kristy Gaynor, 39, of Zoar; and Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar.

“Let me just say that this is our worst nightmare when we have a bus full of children involved in a crash, the worst nightmare that families can endure,” Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters at a news conference just after the crash.

The students and staff were on their way to the Ohio School Boards Association conference where some of the students, who were band members, were scheduled to perform.

Owens is listed as an 11th grade clarinet player in the high school band and Worrell, a senior who played the bass drum.

The group canceled the remainder of the conference, which was in its last day.

Superintendent Derek Veransky wrote on the Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools district website “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,” Veransky wrote. “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 through these coming challenging days.”

The bus driver and 15 additional students were injured and taken to area hospitals, 5 of whom were treated for minor injuries.

The rest of the students were taken to a make-shift reunification site in the nearby Etna Township. The tractor-trailer driver was taken to a local hospital and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Dozens of emergency crews had responded to the crash site by 8:45 a.m., which dispatchers were describing as a “mass casualty” incident. Area hospitals were also put on alert.

DeWine said flags on state buildings and in Tuscarawas County would be lowered to half-staff. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.



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