8 dead, 14 injured in church bus crash in east Tennessee - WKRN News 2

8 dead, 14 injured in church bus crash in east Tennessee

Posted: Updated: Oct 4, 2013 11:03 AM CDT

Eight people are dead and 14 injured after a church bus collided with two other vehicles Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 40 east of Knoxville.

The wreck occurred around 2 p.m. local time at mile marker 423 in Dandridge, Jefferson County, about 30 miles east of Knoxville.

The interstate was shutdown until 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

The wreck involved a church bus carrying members of the Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina, a tractor trailer and a Chevy Tahoe SUV.

Of the eight people killed, six were on the bus, one was in the tractor trailer and one was in the SUV.

Those killed in the church bus have been identified as the bus' driver, Randy Morrison, 66, and passengers Cloyce Matheny, 95, Brenda Smith, 69, Marsha Mclelland, 62, Barbara Morrison, 66 and John Wright, 73.  All were from North Carolina.

Trent Roberts, 24, of Knoxville, was seated in the back seat of the Chevy Tahoe and was also killed.

Mose Farmer, 66, of New Orleans, was the tractor trailer driver killed in the crash.

On Friday, eight white crosses with bible verses and prayers written on them were placed at the scene of the crash.
Of the 14 injured, 12 were in the church bus and two were in the Tahoe.

As of Friday evening, eleven of those injured remain hospitalized. Two are listed in critical condition, four are in serious condition and five others are listed as stable.

Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators say the bus was traveling eastbound when its front tire popped, sending the bus across the median where it collided with a tractor trailer and an SUV traveling westbound.

The tractor trailer caught fire and the bus overturned.

The investigation is ongoing.  Officials stated they will examine the bus' records to determine if it had issues prior to the wreck.  They will also gather statements from witnesses and survivors of the crash.

Over 20 different agencies responded to the scene.  THP said bystanders also aided in the immediate response.

Those who have loved ones involved in Wednesday's crash can call the American Red Cross for more information at 865-305-5716.

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