By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter
DANDRIDGE (WATE) - Truck driver Charles Ragan says he never imagined he would see an accident like Wednesday's crash on I-40 in Dandridge.
Eight people were killed and 14 injured when a church bus from North Carolina blew a tire and slammed into a tractor trailer and an SUV.
Ragan has been a truck driver for 30 years and has never seen a wreck as bad as this one. It's a crash he says he'll never forget.
"This is the first time I can say it's ever bothered me this bad and I've seen them all so I've cried. I've been here since 2 o'clock and I've cried and I'll cry again. About to cry now, but it's a bad thing," Ragan said.
For hours, Ragan answered Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators' questions about what he witnessed.
"He hit the SUV first and it was pulling a boat trailer and separated it then he got the tractor trailer and killed the driver of the truck," Ragan said.
Ragan was driving a load from North Carolina to Kentucky. He says he was very close to hitting the swerving bus. The bus missed him by just feet and struck the SUV behind him. Debris from the crash damaged his truck.
"If I would have been two seconds earlier he would have hit the truck and I just filled up with 250 gallons of fuel 30 miles ago so it could have been horrific," Ragan said.
Ragan says his thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
"My heart is breaking for them. Breaking," Ragan said.