School bus driver, student killed in eastern Tennessee crash, troopers say

School bus driver, student killed in crash

DECATUR, Tenn. — A school bus driver and a student were killed when a school bus carrying children was involved in a highway crash in eastern Tennessee on Tuesday, authorities said.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, seven other children were taken to a Chattanooga hospital, WTVC reported. One child was in critical condition, the television station reported.

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Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed the crash and fatalities, WZTV reported. The crash occurred near Decatur near the county line that separates Meigs and Bradley counties east of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The student killed was a 7-year-old girl, WTVC reported.

According to WDEF-TV, the Meigs County school bus collided with a utility service vehicle on the highway.

According to a statement from the Meigs County Board of Education, Meigs County Bus #12-1 was on its afternoon route with 22 children on board when the crash happened, WZTV reported.

According to investigators, a service electric truck was heading north on Highway 58 when the driver lost control and overcorrected, the television station reported. The truck reentered the highway and skidded into the oncoming bus lane.

“At present all families have been notified and children have returned home with a family member or were taken to area hospitals for treatment,” the statement read.

It is not clear how many people were on the bus, WZTV reported.

“I and the entire staff at the Tennessee Department of Education are deeply saddened to hear about the fatal bus crash in Meigs County earlier this afternoon," Tennessee Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement. "No words can express our sympathies for those lives that were lost. We send our deepest condolences to the students, families, school staff and leaders, district staff and the entire Meigs County community affected by this tragic accident and wish healing for all those injured. The department has communicated with district leaders and staff in Meigs County and surrounding areas and is mobilizing to support this community in safety response and services.”