Tragic Accident Claims Lives of 3, Leaves 15 Injured as Bus Carrying Students Enroute to Columbus Meets with Disaster

Tragic Accident Claims Lives of 3, Leaves 15 Injured as Bus Carrying Students Enroute to Columbus Meets with Disaster

A tragic accident on Interstate 70 in Licking County has resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to 15 others. The incident, described as a “mass casualty incident,” involved a semi-truck and a charter bus carrying students. The bus was from Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools, an Ohio school district in Zoarville. Reports suggest that there may be serious injuries among those on board.

Emergency personnel from various counties were immediately dispatched to the scene following the crash, which occurred around 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday. It is unclear at this time how many vehicles were involved in the accident, although photos from the scene indicate the presence of at least one other passenger vehicle. Smoke was seen emanating from the crash site, as captured by Ohio Department of Transportation cameras.

Derek Varansky, superintendent for Tuscarawas Valley, took to Facebook to share the devastating news. He confirmed that the charter bus was en route to the Ohio School Boards Association conference in Columbus when the accident occurred. Varansky expressed his concern for the injured individuals and their families and assured them that the school district would provide support during this difficult time. Updates regarding upcoming school days and events will be shared as they become available.

Patients injured in the crash were transported to five local hospitals, including Licking Memorial Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist Hospital, and Mount Carmel East Hospital. The number of injuries and the conditions of the patients have not been disclosed.

The bus involved in the accident belonged to Pioneer Trails, a family-owned bus company based in Millersburg, Holmes County. However, when contacted by The Dispatch, an employee refused to confirm whether one of their buses was involved in the crash.

Dispatchers have classified the incident as a “mass casualty incident, level 3,” indicating that there may be ten or more injured individuals requiring the assistance of paramedics, fire crews, and hospitals throughout the region. It is important to note that the term “casualty” does not necessarily imply fatalities in this context.

As authorities continue to assess the situation, both directions of the highway remain closed. Further details regarding the accident have yet to be released.

Note: This article is based on information obtained from The Columbus Dispatch and The Associated Press.